After a messy split with longtime musical partner Dave Mustaine in Megadeth, bassist Dave Ellefson wasted little time getting his next project a float: F5. In this day and age, most heavy metal bands would like you to believe that they are happy to simply bash away at their instruments 24/7, with their Marshalls cranked up to 11. So it's a bit refreshing to read F5's press release, in which the quintet is honest about its game plan from here on out: "To be heavy, but always melodic." And that's a very fitting description of F5's full-length debut, A Drug for All Seasons. Singer Dale Steele (the most fitting name for a metal singer ever?) has no problem handling the musical curveballs that Ellefson and the other instrumentalists throw his way. But an oddly chosen cover — the hippie anthem "What I Am" by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians — will undoubtedly confuse the metalhead following F5 inherited from Ellefson's Megadeth days. But the original material works much better, as evidenced by such standouts as the title track (which sounds quite a bit like John Bush-era Anthrax) and "Dying on the Vine." Certainly not Peace Sells...but Who's Buying, Pt. 2, but that's precisely what Ellefson did not want to do with his new band. [A Japanese version added a bonus track.]
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