Scott Reeder is exactly what he looks like, a metal guy. A rather disturbing picture of him graces the cover of his first solo album, TunnelVision Brilliance. He is submerged in water with his long locks and beard floating around his face while electrodes are attached to his pale, fleshy body.
Reeder has a long and impressive track record, including a level of underground success in Kyuss, played onstage with Tool, and you can see him audition for Metallica in Some Kind of Monster.
This solo project is a labor of love for Reeder, and this time around he’s toned down the metal sound in favor of one more psychedelic. In the ultimate solo position, Reeder handled all the songwriting, instrumentation, recording and production himself. But I think his control fanaticism may have provided the downfall of the album, relying too much on his own influences without anyone else providing objective advice. The result sounds like something my friend’s step-dad recorded in his basement.
After a quarter century in the business playing in various bands, Reeder has finally become unfettered and able to do all the things that he has wanted to do. This seems to have caused him to pack too many things into 13 tracks, sounding like a cross between Robin Trower and Tool. The excessive use of echo, reverb and squealing guitar clash with Reeder’s gravel-laden voice, which is ultimately distracting.
TunnelVision Brilliance comes out in late January, but it already sounds fifteen years old, which is the most interesting effect. Normally, after savaging an album in such a cruel manner I try to find some way to recommend it to someone because I know my tastes aren’t universal. This time I’m at a bit of a loss. I’m going to walk it over to the bar next door which is frequented by bikers, alcoholics, and the marginally employed…
…Some of them actually quite liked it. So there, shows what I know.