Review | Russell / Guns – Medusa
Frontiers Music srl
Guitarist Tracii Guns has been a busy boy the last couple of years. He was active with his own outfit L.A. Guns, he worked with Stryper’s Michael Sweet under the moniker Sunbomb and very recently he impressed with singer Todd Kerns by his side with the project Blackbird Angels. He has now teamed up with former Great White vocalist Jack Russell for an album assisted by bass player Johnny Martin (L.A. Guns), drummer Shane Fitzgibbon (who left L.A. Guns somewhere in 2022) and the inevitable Alessandro Del Vecchio on keyboards and other studio duties.
The last seven years Jack Russell with his version of Great White has released several records including a tribute to Led Zeppelin entitled ‘Great Zeppelin II’, but that version could not even stand in the shadow of the Tribute that Great White released in 1998. Also, the studio release ‘He Saw It Comin’ (2017) was not a success for the vocalist who now has formed a (temporary?) partnership with another veteran Tracii Guns for the album ‘Medusa’.
A HIGH ENERGY AFFAIR
‘Medusa’ is without a shadow of a doubt a high energy affair. Where Great White always combined melodic hard rock with a big shot of blues this team of seasoned musicians has chosen for a slightly different style. The songs are mainly up-tempo, rocking hard and guitar dominated. Tracii Guns has clearly found his mojo again after disappointing albums with L.A. Guns and Sunbomb. The Blackbird Angels record was luckily excellent and as a guitarist with the help of a few guys that he has played with for years Tracii Guns rocks his socks off on this one. The solos on songs such as ,,Living A Lie’’ (basically the only ballad on the album) and some heavy rockers are really cool.
It is also very clear that the years have had an influence on the performance of Jack Russell. Not that he is doing a real bad job but to be brutally honest he is just a shadow from the singer he used to be. In his defence, I should add that the bulk of song material might not be completely suited for the current status of his voice. Maybe a few more bluesy type rockers with a smoother touch would have been more suitable for Jack’s vocal chords but that is simply not the case.
‘Medusa’ is certainly not a failure but the fact remains that the best days of Jack Russell as a singer have passed. The album has more in common with the stuff that Guns produces with L.A. Guns, ready, rough, and hard rocking and not so much with what Russell did with Great White. Not bad but not a record that can be classified as a must have release.
Release date: 12 January 2024