Let me ask all you readers a simple question. How often do any of you guys hear a decent band that only has two guys? Not very often! The White Stripes made it far, as did Death From Above 1979, but Backmask takes it all and only consisting of two sick dudes; Shane McFee and Richard Chapleau. McFee does the vocals and the sick guitar riffs, while Chapleau takes care of the bass. Together, they program the drums and the keyboards, ultimately creating one sick, thick sound. As of late, the band’s line-up has been filled out for touring purposes, but for the recording of Dark Fiber, there were only the two guys.
First up on this insane piece of work is “New Revelation.” The guitar riff during the intro is utterly amazing. I can’t even imagine how incredible McFee’s guitar skills must be if he can play that well while singing. The drums are insanely tight throughout the track and also sound extremely clear. I don’t know if they used a drum machine or just played the drums live and added it into the recordings, because it sounds way too amazing to be a drum machine.
“Blacklisted” is sixth. The intro for this track takes a relatively different turn. It’s slower and mellower, but still has that foreboding sense to it. After the intro, the pace picks up, unleashing the true fury of the band. McFee’s vocals are bone chilling, making the marrow quake with every syllable. Chapleau’s bass makes the ground tremble as well, even if the speakers aren’t touching the floor. The solo played part way through the track is spot-on perfect. It stays in scale, and portrays the expertise of McFee’s skills.
Ninth up is “Prisoner of Mind”… and we have a guest star! There is a guest guitar solo played on the track, as well as mandolin. The guest just so happens to be John McFee, Shane’s father and none other than the renowned guitarist from the Doobie Brothers. The riff throughout the track is spectacular and it’s a great mix that the father/son combination produced. Shane chooses the right times when to play power chords for lengths of time, or palm mutes when the music gets heavier.
Overall, this album kicked some serious ass. Shane has undoubtedly inherited from his father the gift of musical genius. Whether it be creating catchy hooks or shredding up and down his axe, Shane is a force to be reckoned with. With only two guys (well three in one song), it’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little bit of effort. This terribly awesome twosome pulled it off so well that they make it appear as if they aren’t even trying. I give this album a 9.1/10. [ END ]
01. New Revelation
02. Thought Experiment
04. Frozen In Apathy
05. The Architect
07. Zero Point
08. Escape Velocity
09. Prisoner of Mind
10. Dark Fiber
Run Time: 51:30