4 Pickpockets out of 10
Void of all color, the cover art's very grey and drab. It's a photo of
greco-roman columns in ruins, then superimposed over a screaming guy's
face. It hints of heaviness, but a splash of color would've helped make
the cover stand out.
Catburglars out of 10
Also very minimalist, it's a simple 4-panel booklet. Boooorrrrriiinnnnggg.
No trace of color, just black and white with varying shades of grey.
There is a color band photo in the CD tray, but that doesn't count.
No lyrics -- one pane devoted to track listing, one black and white
photo collage, and one page of credits. There's a Web site URL (www.thievesinthetemple.com),
but when typed into a Web browser, the visitor is transposed to michaelnitro.com
- the bass player's Web site! What the fuck? Guess they didn't get around
to putting up a site yet.
Shoplifters out of 10
I have to admit that I was really looking
forward to this CD, but even after several listens, I'm left feeling,
uh, underwhelmed. The songs themselves aren't terrible, but not what
I expected, especially considering the solid reputation of lead guitarist
Danny Wexler. Thieves in the Temple (or 'TITT' as I like to call them)
have kind of a heavy alternative-metal vibe ala Alice In Chains or one
of those early 90s post-Nirvana bands like Stompbox or Strip Mind, though
certainly not as memorable. The opening track ("Boneyard")
gives off this feel right away and keeps it throughout the entire CD,
so there's not a lot of audial variety. Also, the album is bereft almost
entirely of guitar solos, something else that pissed me off. I'm all
about musicians with stellar chops being reserved on occasion and playing
for the song, but come on! Danny Wexler rules and I was really disappointed
that he didn't go for any balls-out shredding on at least a few tracks.
There is a cover of Jimmy Hendrix's "Hey Joe," but other than
that, all the songs sound the same, except for the last track (entitled
"Shook Me"), which pretty much blows.
is comprised of vocalist Dave Fiorini, drummer Jimmy D (*not* the guy
from Paladino's), that bass player guy with the Web site, and former
Icon guitarist Danny Wexler, who has also worked with Alice Cooper on
several occasions. Wexler is a wicked guitarist, and if you don't believe
me, check out some of Icon's albums from back in the day, especially
the track "Out For Blood" from the 1985 release 'Night of
the Crime.' Being that Wexler's from the Phoenix, Arizona area, where
Alice is from, Icon opened a lot of Alice shows in that region, and
the two eventually collaborated on several projects. Alice appears as
a guest vocalist on the 1989 album 'Right Between the Eyes,' and Wexler
plays guitar on Alice's 'Last Temptation' and 'A Fistful of Alice' albums
(Danny co-wrote the tune "Is Anyone Home.") I don't doubt
that Wexler still has his chops, but he doesn't display them tits up
on the TITT album. Most unfortunate because he really does rule.