After his departure from Down and the hiatus period that Kill Devil Hill are going through, who by the way had Vinny Appice on the drums for the first two records, the time has come for Rex Brown to play the solo career card. On ‘Smoke on This…’, apart from the bass, he plays guitar and sings as well.
The record is made of 11 pleasant songs, from an artist who’s more interested in honoring his influences rather than trying to create compositions with personality. Nothing wrong with that, or with the riff to ‘Crossing Lines’ for that matter, but if I try to remember how many times I’ve heard it in a song before, we’ll be here ‘til tomorrow. The album’s style doesn’t stray too far from Kill Devil Hill, it’s maybe a tad more bluesy, closer to Zeppelin rather than Sabbath.
No one disputes the coolness factor and the multifaceted talent that Rex, Jason Newsted, or Duff McKagan all have. For accuracy’s sake, ‘Smoke on This…’ is worse than ‘Heavy Metal Music’ and probably equal to the albums Loaded released. All three though function better as parts of a great group instead of on their own.