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David Neil Cline – Flying in a Cloud of Controversy

David Neil Cline
Flying in a Cloud of Controversy
by Jose McCall at 05 July 2017, 6:55 AM

As an old cranky man with an ever-clenched fist, it gets awfully hard to accept things outside of what I like. It also gets really hard to type with knuckles. I normally don’t dig things that aren’t a bunch of screaming and banshee howling and endless demon vocals with blast beats and stuff. It’s a racket, but it’s MY racket. It’s the wall of sound I travel with that blocks out all the things people say like “How’s it hangin’?” “Boy, would you look at this weather?” Or “Watch out, there’s a bear over there!” Though I have a specific arsenal of audio I like to take with me, the benefit of reviewing stuff you aren’t familiar with is getting the opportunity to be exposed to new things and listening to them with an attempt to be objective instead of immediately having some kind of cave troll mentality where you chase off intruders with a rock without knowing what they are. Check out the new, you might even like it. That was the knee-jerk reaction I suppressed as I checked out “Flying in a Cloud of Controversy” by NEIL DAVID CLINE. A band named after a dude, or maybe a dude who got a band. I’m not sure which. “Flying in a Cloud of Controversy” is an example of American Rock and Roll mixed in with a few other more metal elements. There’s an array of solid catchy tunes and sweet solos throughout. Right from the start, the axe prowess is proven with “Going Postal” a meaty-riff filled sandwich of catchy aggression.

Throughout the album I felt a few similarities channeled between this band and a few others. Some of the more socially-based lyrics in songs like Conspiracy reminded me of “Blind” era CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. The random things David seems to be upset about are modern day minutia, like the song “Road Rage.” D.R.I. did something similar in MODERN WORLD so I can’t diss it. Good grief, am I showing my ancient age yet? What’s hip with the kids, bands with sentence fragment names still? I honestly liked this album but think a bit less singing may have helped. The instrumental tracks on this album shine because they demonstrate what’s clearly a skilled musician slaying with his axe. There were a lot of directions taken from song to song both in tone and subject matter. One moment it’s a reflection of rights being taken away and the next it’s a jam about a lady he wants to get with. I also don’t know if the vocals will be everyone’s cup of tea.

Regardless of vocals, “Fuck The Jones’s” is an incredibly catchy song. In “Aggravated” (which used creep whispering as vocals like in PANTERA’s “Good Friends and a Bottle of Pills”) the vocals came off as a little out of place. There’s a song called “U” that featured some KING DIAMOND like wailing. While this was an ambitious attempt here to hit several neighborhoods of metal and I can’t say for sure if it was a success. It’s all personal preference though, maybe I’m wrong here. In either case, did I mention the guitar strumming and plucking is good yet? The spaghetti-at-the-wall approach here led to a lot of highs and lows. The vocals I felt could have used a little more oomph. This was clearly an album created by folks passionate about what they do and with a great range of ability. Is it beneficial to be eclectic? I can’t answer that because I don’t know when versatility becomes a detriment, and that’s also a question for someone with a degree in something. If you like rock and/or roll, be it hair metal, be it alternative rock influenced, be it NWOBHM, check this out. You will find some head banging worthy tracks that will have you raising the horns. (RIP David Neil Cline).

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Going Postal
2. Conspiracy
3. False Judgment
4. Road Rage
5. Tamale Fever
6. Aggravated
7. Fuck the Jones's
8. Alien Fetus
9. Planet Damnation
10. DJ's Song
11. The Band Wagon
12. Dodging the Stork
13. Virus
14. Slap Happy
15. Mental Baggage
16. Toothbrush
17. Take It Or Leave It
18. Crazy Dream
19. U 
Jegg Giovannangeli - Drums
Jim Morris - Guitars
Todd Reed - Guitars
David Neil Cline - Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion
Record Label: City of Lights Records


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