First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2002, Volume 9, #9
Written by John Metzger
Despite the departure of renowned guitarist Neil Schon and the subsequent addition of relatively unknown guitarist Ralph Woodson, The TriChromes has turned its debut EP into a full-blown album without skipping a beat. Much like the groupís first single Dice with the Universe, much of its new self-titled release straddles a line between breezy pop, folksy blues, and classic rock. Most notable is Iowa Soldier, which strikes a comfortable, vaguely familiar story-song pose before flying off in a fit of Hendrix-ian bliss. The group also dabbles with a Clapton-does-Marley groove on Simply Nowhere and slips into a Hendrix-laced ballad on For You. More often than not, however, itís the bubbly, bar-band pop of Zero that The TriChromes most closely recalls. This is a good thing too, considering that Zero was one of the best-kept secrets to come out of the Bay Area.
Unfortunately, there are a few missteps along the way: Kickiní Ass on the Avenue should be a snarling blues romp, but here it sounds rather perfunctory, and the concluding instrumentals (Impossible Triangle and Knot of Eternity) never really take flight and instead ramble aimlessly without a clear destination. Nevertheless, the album serves as both a welcome return for former Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann as well as an intriguing new direction for him. Throughout it all, itís his steadfast rhythm that masterfully powers the band without ever getting in its way. With time, The TriChromes undoubtedly will gel more fully, becoming the powerhouse ensemble for which it so clearly strives. Until then, the band occasionally strikes gold while delivering a pleasing set of material, anchored by one of the finest drummers in the history of rock ínĎ roll. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2002 The Music Box