Ron Thal reviews

Ron Thal (Bumblefoot) – reviews

Uncool (French version) – Ron Thal

(songs with fretless only are reviewed)
Classification – Fusion / Rock

“Go”: Solo is done on fretless. The song is very punchy , I would rate it in the fusion category but it is somewhere between and outside it, it is a song dedicated to the multiple sclerosis foundation of which Ron is a member. The solo starts with long notes (presumly with polyguitar effects) and then goes into the use of sliding harmonics. The Mood is I think like if something was in a hurry and was about to go wrong. The solo makes me think of it. It is my favorite solo from Ron because it is raging. After the solo the main riff wich is a Thimble slide is continuated with Fretless slides.

“Crunch”: The whole song is done on fretless, in a jazz low gain set up. I love everything in this song, the main riff is like a ride and all along the song the riff changes, the solo is very good. It has, I think, a little Country edge. The end of the song changes radically into Hardcore rock with atonal progression chords. Love that song.

“Delilah”: The solo is fretlessed. I love the vocal part so that song overall is one of my favorites, the main riff is cool. The Solo is compounded of melodic lines ended up with atonal notes which gives the impression of “caging” the notes. This gives a really good relation with song topic which is the addiction. The solo is done with moderate gain.

“Mine”: All song done on fretless. One of the most technical song i’ve heard from Ron. Done on high gain setup, the riff changes along the song and the solo gives a VERY slow slide which shows us the sustain of the Surfreter. At first I had difficulties with this song because it starts very fast but now love it.

“Maricona”: The Weirdest thing in the song is done on the fretless, it is a redundant slide. I think either you like it or hate it. I find it amusing but it is not musically my cup of tea.

“A girl like you”: Just some background slides are done on fretless… however this is the funniest track to me… and I love it… those who know this track will understand that my neighbours take me for insane when I sing it.

Overall this album is the most easily accessible to non-Bumblefoot-listeners but also a mistaken one because one could think Ron is only fun… but that is not the whole truth. This album in its French version is to me very complete. The songs where fretless are used clearly show Ron at his most expressive.

Review – OM

9.11 – Ron Thal

(songs with fretless only are reviewed)
Classification – Fusion / Rock

Before reviewing this album i’d like to say, Ron changed his mastering procedure and recorded Uncool Us version, 9.11 and Anthology this way. It gives a very loud sound which to me sounds dirty and doesn’t render well the harmonics of the fretless but recently I just downloaded Winamp 5.03 and it has a sonic engine that extracts very well the frequencies so the listening of 9.11 and anthology are far better! Give them a try and try to equalize them so as to have not too loud a sound.

“fly in the batter”: done entirely on fretless, a superb song despite the vocals that are I think are muddy. The Solo is gorgeous, long, and it gives a very deep mood, the use of sliding harmonics is extensive here, and the’re polyphonics too… very very very good to me.

“Lost”: Entirely on fretless, Rock/rap style, with two hands tapping, atonal play and a very catchy main riff based on a slow slide… I love this song while I’m not fan of rap. The lyrics are very cool too.

“Raygun”: Fretless whole, 50’s sound style, with imitations of sci-fi rayguns done with fretless! Combination of thimble ,tapping, slides and all you want this is my favorite instrumental!

“Hole in the sky”: a short outro to Raygun, done with Tone rotary at his lowest level and with saturated sound, a very cool instrumental! would be very cool to re-do!

“Children of Sierra Leone”: Fretless forever, an instrumental based on faded in slides and an ending theme based on atonals followed by dodecaphonic tones. This instrumental is very interesting for learning the fretless because it shows some basic things you can do with it but of course…. it’s Ron doing it so with him it seems natural I bet I can’t go past the 4th first measures!

“R2”: half fretless/fretted, the fretted part of this happy instrumental (which is in fact not happy at all because its dedicated to one of Ron’s friends) is based on polyphonics and slides and some atonals.

“top of the world”: fretless whole but with dweezil zappa solo at the middle. Clearly my most emotional song, it is blues-like and the solo makes me cry…

Overall this album is the most complete I think, fretlesswise. I think it lacks a better mastering. My favorite album of Bumblefoot.

Review – OM

Anthology – Ron Thal

(songs with fretless only and not featured on Uncool are reviewed)
Classification – Fusion / Rock

“Meat”: Fretless solo, mid gain , very metal sounding song, with supra cool vocals and a solo that is very mystic, atonals slides and thimble play. Love this song.

“A day to remember”: The main riff is done on fretless, it is a slide riff. I love this song too.

“Bagged a big one”: Fretless whole, very funny song with low gain. Not to much fretless technics but fretless sound all the way!

“Myth”: Fretless parts. A jumping main riff and a very cool solo. Rather cool rap/monologue bridge.

“A way out”: Fretless whole, a smooth sound song with a solo base on fast slides, and some slight atonals.

“Wasted away”: fretless whole, a slow song with a main riff based on clean sound and slides. the solo is fretless to death with completly disonant tones! It can be either seen good or not that musical… I don’t have any opinion on it, it changes every time I hear this song. However I do think this song suffers from the over the top loud mastering.

“Mafalda”: how could it be other than fretless? an instrumental which is frightening when you see the tablatures…. it has everything you want… slide, sliding harmonics, opposites slides, twin hands and regular tappings, atonals, vibrato, natural harmonics hammered on etc.. It requires a lot of listening to, to be appreciated, and I don’t think this is really for non-guitarists because it is rather special. However if you’re into fretless then this one could become your dream instrumental! (Also featured on the “Village of the Unfretted” CD – Ed)

Review – OM

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