Alice’s Garden – Alice’s Garden

Alice's Garden
Released 2002 (Alchemist Records)

Track List:
01. As I Walk
02. Outlaw (Radio Mix)
03. Walk Away
04. Bad Seed
05. Hey Joe
06. Awakening
07. Dreams In Red
08. I
09. You And I
10. Drifter
11. Outlaw
12. Legacy Of Man
13. Dreams In Red (A Capella)

Dave Devine – vocals and bass
Jesse James – guitars
Jimmy Briggs – drums

Produced, recorded, mixed and mastered by Dave Devine.

The interesting part about Alice’s Garden is how the vocals are done. Singer Dave Devine is able to reach notes made famous by Rob Halford, but at the same time a lower register vocal is dubbed in. It makes for an unusual sound, almost as if someone is chanting in the background. But if the vocals sometimes reach Judas Priest‘s legendary status, no one in this three piece can match their musicality. In the band’s defense, they don’t really try to match the dueling guitar onslaught of Priest, as they have more of a sludgy doom-ridden delivery.

  I was worried when “As I walk” started up, it sounded as if they were using a drum machine which I have always hated. But I don’t think that is the case, and the song picks up speed before slamming into a chorus that would make Halford proud. As cool as the opening track is, things start to go downhill after it. The songs begin to trudge along, suppressed by a dull production – and you begin to wonder if the same song is being replayed over and over again. Some of the tunes work, such as “Bad Seed”, “Hey Joe” and “You And I”, but this album is a case study in deja vu. After hearing one song you’ve heard them all, and there just aren’t enough tempo changes or killer guitar solos to keep me interested.

Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, February 2005.

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