Monte Pittman – The Power of Three (Metal Blade)

Sunday, 19th January 2014
Rating: 8/10

Cool back story with this one: Dude leaves home from Texas, holes up in L.A., barely making ends meet as a guitar teacher, gets a student by the name of Guy Ritchie (who was at the time married to the “Material Girl”), introductions happen, then next thing you know, big gigs with Madonna for the next 13 years. Along the way, Monte Pittman (that’s who we’re talking about) did some time with Prong, released a pair of well-received solo albums, then hooked up with Metal Blade, who are doing him and everyone else a solid by releasing The Power of Three, a rock-metal hybrid album, that revels in the fine (and somewhat lost) art of well-executed songwriting.

Will be curious to hear the squawkers rail against Pittman’s main gig, maybe trying to use it as a crutch when breaking down the infectiously hook-oriented ten songs that make up the album. It really doesn’t matter, as Pittman has the riff thing down (see some thrash on “Dark Horse,” Pantera on “Blood Hungry Thirst” and double-bass syncopation on “Before the Mourning Sun”), and they’re pretty simple, but awfully effective and economic. Mixed in are the man’s convincing vocal delivery, perhaps a glance off Chris Cornell in the early 90’s, just without the helacious screams.

But there’s piles upon piles of catchy moments to be found here, like the poppy chorus on “Everything’s Undone” (love the Aerosmith intro, too) or the gradual build of closer “All is Fair In Love and War,” which could be the album’s most adventurous track. Then you throw in a Flemming Rasmussen production job and it’s quite the captivating song-y metal album, the type of work that we need more of. Figures, it takes a guy who’s on the outside looking in these days to make it happen.

Monte Pittman official site