Indiana man Dez Maree brought together a group of like-minded and skilled musicians to create what Dez calls a “new approach to a vintage blues-rock sound”. The result was that, in 2013, Bloo Fooz were formed and began the process of putting ten of Dez’s compositions onto tape. The project was completed and released earlier this year under the title of Cosmic Whirlwind. It was recorded in a converted church in the depths of Indiana and reflects the influences Dez lists: with diverse acts as Floyd, INXS, the Peppers, The Doors and the seminal Iron Butterfly. In addition, following his studies into the poetry of wordsmiths like Milton, Pope, Blake, Shelley and Dylan Thomas, the lyrics are bound to be pretty vivid too.
Opening track, Son of A Gun, with its pounding drum intro and a bass riff which has a certain Chilliness to it then serves up a poetic melody to the lyrics. The guitar (a Strat through a Vox AV30) creates a feeling of mystery. The Last Testimony of Scottie Ferguson, has a Knopfler sound to the guitar intro and develops into a fairly unremarkable rock song but is lifted by a short but sweet keyboard section. Slipping Slowly Away From The Sun is very laid back with a nice electric piano backing and punctuation from a wah’d guitar. The solo has a great vintage tone to the picking even if it is rather short, and comes over as a Floyd inspired piece. As Time Falls Asunder is acoustic based at the start but grows in volume and tension and has a really well-judged guitar solo without too many notes. Another Floydian feel pervades this one. Across The Sky starts with the sound of thunder and a slow harmonic before a synth vibrates behind the vocals. The guitar solo’s tone could be from a Morricone score but is very short. The rest of the song seems to be trying to get somewhere but never quite makes it as the instrumentation is merely a set up for the lyrical lyrics. The title track, Cosmic Whirlwind, with guitar and keys in harmony has a slightly faster pace that what has gone before but apart from a neat guitar solo, it is a little sterile. A Smile As Bright As The Moon with its acoustic over keys carries a great melody with heart-wrenching lyrics and a nice heavy sounding chord structure showing occasionally. Friends is very Doors in its construction and a neat solo that uses only the four lower strings and, by eschewing the tendency of many guitarists to play the top two strings at a prodigious pace, injects it with a lot of feel and emotion. Last Outbound Train has a slide guitar buried deep in the mix and, for the first time Dez’s vocal shows a more varied approach and is the stronger for it. The solo is another carefully picked and crafted piece of work with a bit of reverb to keep it different. Final track, Hardly The Norm, is a slow-paced Floydian work with slide and clever offbeat drumming forming the background, before the best solo on the album as Dez channels Gilmore in a fine way.
This is an album that hardly varies its pace and it can be a bit much at one sitting. That said there is a great deal of skill on display from all of the band members. Fans of Pink Floyd will find a lot to recognise and enjoy but for me at least, I could have done with some change of pace, a bit more blues in his blues-rock and a ‘heavying up’ of a lot of the songs…it all comes across as pedestrian. However, when the odd track shows up on shuffle, it will not be skipped because there is a lot to enjoy…just not all at once.
SIXdoodle paws out of TEN …
- Son Of A Gun
- The Last Testimony Of Scottie Ferguson
- Slipping Slowly Away From The Sun
- As Time Falls Asunder
- Across The Sky
- Cosmic Whirlwind
- A Smile As Bright As The Moon
- Last Outbound Train
- Hardly The Norm
All songs written by Dez Maree
Dez Maree: Lead guitar
Jeremy Mann: Drums
Soloman Orion: Keyboards, vocals
Andrew Leslie: Bass
Ray Gentry: guitar, vocals
Produced by Dez Maree