Review: Glenn Hughes – 'Resonate'

When Slash and his merry men came to Europe in 2015 they brought along Glenn Hughes (and his band, California Breed) for the ride. The final night of the tour hit Glasgow, and for the encore, Hughes joined the headliners for a glorious romp through the Deep Purple chestnut, ‘Burn’. If you don’t have first hand experience of the evening, then check it out on YouTube. On numerous occasions, Myles Kennedy stands back in awe as Glenn Hughes lets rip with his trademark screams. You can look at this in a few different ways: “The Voice of Rock” reminding the new guard that he was still around, or “The Voice of Rock” passing over the crown to the new bearer of the title, and all that comes with it. Either way you look at it, it was a memorable evening with newer icons paying homage to a genuine influence on so many. Kennedy clearly enjoyed it, judging by the massive grin on his face throughout. Not long after the tour, Glenn Hughes sadly disbanded California Breed. He would then form an alliance with guitarist Doug Aldrich, before heading out on a well-received tour. Aldrich is now with Dead Daisies, and Hughes has released ‘Resonate’ – his first “solo” album in almost eight years. In places, ‘Resonate’ is a heavy album. I’m always loathed to call an album ‘heavy’, as fans of bands like Vader or Municipal Waste would scoff at that kind of claim. ”Call that heavy?…” But as far as Glenn Hughes goes, then ‘Resonate’ has some crushing, heavier moments. Opener, ‘Heavy’, perhaps being a good example. Beginning with some Blackmore-esque guitar from Soren Anderson, it settles down with cranium-rattling drums from Red Hot Chili Pepper, Chad Smith (who also appears on closing track ‘Long Time Gone’). It’s loud, funky, and encourages some neat air drumming. ‘My Town’, and ‘Flow’ are also heavier, with a crushing bass groove from Hughes, as powerhouse drummer Pontus Engborg batters the living daylights out of his kit. The album has a real “live” feel to it, and both tracks exemplify the fact that Glenn Hughes still has a lot to offer other than simply just nostalgia. As one would expect from Hughes, there are more than a few funky-ass moments where the soulful side to him shines through. ‘Let It Shine’ has more of a laidback vocal, where the screams are reigned in. It’s bass-heavy, but the excellent guitar work from Anderson is worth a mention. ‘When I Fall’ is ultra smooth, with a gorgeous feeling of floating on air washing over the listener. Lachy Doley’s organ sound plays a major role in a song that caresses the ears. ‘Landmines’ struts like the winner of this years ‘Pimp Of The Year’ contest. A great 70’s vibe, complete with a talkbox, but again a lot of the vibe is down to Doley’s organ…. Likewise, ‘Steady’ is all about the atmosphere that the keys bring. A Deep Purple influenced intro before some Genesis vibes creep in. Think ‘Turn It On Again’ era Genesis here.
‘God Of Money’ is one of the strongest tracks on the album. A massive drum sound, but without being flashy and overplayed. The chorus is huge, with a sublime vocal from Hughes, and Doley, yet again, takes his moment in the spotlight with a great solo. Another highlight would be closing track ‘Long Time Gone’, which opens with a simple acoustic intro behind Hughes’ bare voice. The song builds up to a towering piece of music, with a quirky guitar solo from Anderson. Hughes plays it cool before unleashing some trademark screams towards the end. Nice. ‘Resonate’ is the sound of an artist who still has something to offer the world of classic rock. A varied and enjoyable album. Available now through Frontiers Music. Review: Dave Stott

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