Various - The Attack Of The Dragons

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Adrenaline
Catalog Number: ADR 0015
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:00:00

It doesn't seem strange at all for a band to turn "Bohemian Rhapsody" into something quite different from the original since Queen themselves played fast and loose with our idea of rock, throwing in all sorts of different elements - think of "Laxing On A Sunday Afternoon" for example. So, on this tribute CD we get from Maybebop "Bohemian Rhapsody" done a cappella, barbershop quartet almost, sounding as if they were singing "Mr. Sandman" instead. How a cappella? Those familiar piano notes that start the second verse? All done with voice; guitar solos, too. Of course, that's the idea of a cappella - except I don't think it includes being the instruments. It's played so serious as to be funny, and yet if it weren't done so damn well, they wouldn't be able to pull it off. This is the other highlight of the disc. Only disc one was sent for review, but the second disk contains original tracks by the same artists.

Seasons Of The Wolf open the tribute with "We Will Rock You." They, too, give the song a different spin, making it far more metallic and punchier, and yet less punchier, less anthemic. On the other hand, Evil Wings plays it close to the vest with a near exact rendition of "Killer Queen." Rather good, though I would have left most of the female vocal accents behind, as they are just too bizarre for this otherwise straight reading. What's funny is that vocalist Franco Giaffreda's delivery makes me think he should be performing it in tails and top hat, dancing like Fred Astaire.

Avalanch take on "Save Me" and do a very nice job, adding a little edge to track that truly does the original proud - one of the best here, even though it does hue fairly close to the original. They do it so well, so naturally, that they've made it their own. I have to admit though that I have a personal connection with this song, and somewhat bizarre. In my graduation year, at the end of the year, we had an assembly where this music was playing as pictures of the year's events were splashed up on the screen. Didn't understand why they chose that song, though.

Anyway, back to the CD at hand. As familiar as I am with Queen - think I have all their albums - I'm not at all familiar with "Now I'm Here." On this tribute it's performed by Jesse Jones Project, and there is no question that it's a Queen tune, given the harmonies. Pretty good, have to check out the original now to see how it compares.

"The Show Must Go On" is, perhaps, the most moving track Queen ever wrote, more so I think against the backdrop with which it was written. Aztec Jade stay true to that spirit, giving me goose bumps when the track reaches that vocal peak.

Marci Geller is next with her rendition of "You're My Best Friend". If you can imagine 10,000 Maniacs doing a Queen tune, then this is what you'd get. It has a slight country feel, the brass adding just a little something to it. One of the best tracks here, helped by Geller's vocals (she sounds almost exactly like Natalie Merchant). "Another One Bites The Dust" funks like the original beat, but I'm not overly impressed with Hotrod Otis' rendition. Though it adds enough "street" to it to give that added something - you can almost see the graffiti, the run-down streets, the thugs.

Vighilia's entry is "Innuendo." The vocalist sounds quite a bit like Chrissie Hynde, and there is a harder metallic edge to the song, but this is a powerful, meaty rendition that holds up very well against the original, and in its own right. Graffiti Circus come next with a funkier version of "Dragon Attack". Nearly all the elements work; the vocals, bass, and guitar are spot-on. The only weak element is the percussion, which seems weak in comparison to other instruments. This is straight down the middle, neither being too close to the original, nor too far variant. Could have used punchier percussion is the only complaint I have.

"Fat Bottomed Girls" is here performed by The Last Band On Earth, here giving the song the feeling of slowed down Molly Hatchett with a, um, heavy bottom end. Queen as Southern Rock. It's an okay rendition but lacks something I can't name. Spread Mind's version of "One Vision" is another that really doesn't take any chances with song, sticking close to the original, though it does give it another feel. At times I thought of Glenn Hughes, though the vocalist is a far cry from Hughes, as his voice often sounds pinched (and whiney at one point). He's not a bad vocalist, though.

The disc concludes with Maybebob and "Bohemian Rhapsody."

All in all, of hit or miss, it's mostly hit and celebrates the variety that was Queen.

We Will Rock You (Seasons Of The Wolf) (2:52) / Killer Queen (Evil Wings) (3:14) / Save Me (Avalanch) (4:20) / Now I'm Here (Jesse Jones Project) (3:51) / The Show Must Go On (Aztec Jade) (3:54) / You're My Best Friend (Marci Geller) (3:00) / Another One Bites The Dust (Hotrod Otis) (3:06) / Innuendo (Vighilia) (6:27) / Dragon Attack (Graffiti Circus) (4:09) / Fat Bottomed Girls (The Last Band On Earth) (4:19) / One Vision (Spread Mind) (4:49) / Bohemian Rhapsody (Maybebop) (5:59)



Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin VA

Added: December 1st 2000
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Hits: 972
Language: english


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