Monday, January 18, 2016

Top Ten Bassists of 2015

Time for the bass players to either step out of the shadows and put there foot up on the monitor, though a couple might already be there. Often unrecognized unless by other bass players  they are the glue, so here are those who really kept their albums sticking together and went above and beyond in 2015.

10:John Hassell- Libertines

Keeping their bottom end both melodic and driving no matter if these guys are indulging in more Mod like Brit -pop or coming out drunkenly swinging with punk. It's clear both McCartney and Andy Rourke are his influences which as a baas player really does their music justice.

  9: Jeordie White aka Twiggy Ramirez

The bass playing is what keeps "the Pale Emperor" heavy. Manson has backed off from using a more metallic guitar sound for the better part of the decade now so it's a good thing White is back in the fold to balance things out.

8: Ben Chisholm- Chelsea Wolfe

 Where low tuned sludge like guitar would normally sit on her new album, Wolfe's long time collaborator Chisholm had to do all the heavy lifting when it came to bringing the heavier dynamic. The tone is unbelievable and while he might not be a chops monster like some of the other guys on this list, he serves the song and delivered just what the album needed.


7:Dmitry Melet - Domovoyd

 His progressive style of playing set really well in the dense mix of psychedelic doom his band erupted with this year. The guitar are often weaving together weird walls of feed back leaving him to keep things going. Works hand in hand with the drummer while being very tasteful and melodic.

 6-Gerald Hansen -Eye of Nix

He keeps the throb going through all the dynamic shifts their songs take. Very hypnotic groove when needed or shaking the walls with a massive rumble. Great sense of when to hang on a note and keep pounding it into your head and when allow you to breath and play around the riff.

 5-Paul Barker -Puscifer

In Ministry he was often buried under the guitar, on this album Barker really shines and lays down some powerful bass lines that combine angular dissonance with melodic grooves or backing way off as needed , he really showed his range as a player.

4: Dan Maines- Clutch

 As these guys have progressed into a Camaro rock boogie machine it would be easy for him to sit back and ride the kick. He adds melodic embellishments while adding to their Zeppelin like thump. When they go off on a ZZ Top tangent he still retains a heavier tone to keep them grounded as who they are.

 3-Youth- Killing Joke "Pylon"

 allows him to showcase the diverse range from slapping a punk funk bounce against the industrial grind to some more tripped out and melodic.It doesn't hurt that he is also one of the best producers in the industry, so he has the best bass mix and production of any one on this list, but he doesn't put himself on pedestal and puts the bands sound first.

 2-Steve Harris- Iron Maiden

 I know it's heresy to not have him in the number one spot , but let's face it he is playing with a pick these days. This is not the kind of playing that propelled "Number of the Beast" , but even Harris dialing it in is better than what most can muster on their best day. "Book of Souls" finds the spot light shifting to the guitar players and Nicko .Bruce and Steve get the job done , but this is the guitar players album.

1-Greg Burns - Marriages

 Most Steve Harris fans are like who the fuck is this guy? Well he played for Isis and Red Sparrowes , so has the post rock / prog metal chops that he has displayed on their previous album. Here it's about letting the singer shine so he retains a monster grit and slink to his tone while serving the song. Emma's guitar tone often floats around with surreal grace leaving Greg to cement the songs down.He wins for being the most creative player on this list. Tasteful and dexterous as needed. He is what makes "Salome" heavy.


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