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Album Review

Past say, oh, the early to mid-'80s, whenever you heard the phrase "instrumental rock music," it usually meant a group of heavy metallists shredding away on their respective instruments (usually with guitar gymnastics at the forefront). In other words, showing off your chops seemed to win out over the importance of songwriting time and time again. But by the time of the debut album by Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats, 2009's Meet the Meatbats, this is thankfully no longer the case. In fact, the group specifically turns the clock back to the '70s, when instrumental rock music was based in funk and fusion styles (Jeff Beck's Wired, Return to Forever's Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Billy Cobham's Spectrum, etc.). Some mighty fine fusion-y grooves can be detected throughout Meet the Meatbats (and they're very authentic-sounding) — especially such ditties as "Battle for Ventura Boulevard," "Death Match," and "Need Strange." Smith has long been considered one of rock's top drummers, and the debut album by his Bombastic Meatbats will only strengthen his standing.

Meet the Meatbats, Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats
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