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Pine / Cross Dover

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Album Review

They may only be good for a mere handful of new studio albums per decade, but when Masters of Reality decide to rear their head, you can always count on main members Chris Goss and John Leamy delivering tasty helpings of rock music that are nearly impossible to pin down to a single style. And the chain remains very much intact with their sixth studio release overall, 2009's Pine/Cross Dover. One obvious musical comparison is Queens of the Stone Age, and for good reason — Goss has produced many a Queens of the Stone Age album over the years (as well as their precursor band, Kyuss). Case in point, the kick-ass album-opener "King Richard TLH," which contains one of the best warped grooves since Queens of the Stone Age's "Monsters in the Parasol." But there are also plenty of tracks that come directly out of left field — including the meandering instrumental "Johnny's Dream" (which at times recalls the more laid-back moments of such '70s fusion artists as Weather Report), as well as the violin-like riff of "Dreamtime Stomp," while "Testify to Love" manages to combine a monstrous Sabbath riff with psychedelic melodicism. From start to finish, Masters of Reality continue to march to the beat of their own drummer on Pine/Cross Dover.


Formed: 1981 in Syracuse, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Led by singer/guitarist Chris Goss, Masters of Reality were something of an anomaly on the late-'80s/early-'90s rock scene, playing a strongly Cream- and Zeppelin-influenced brand of hard rock with modern touches. Their original members included bassist Googe, guitarist Tim Harrington, and drummer Vinnie Ludovico. Goss broke up the band shortly after their well-received, self-titled debut album in 1989; he reformed the group as a trio a few years later with Googe and legendary ex-Cream drummer Ginger...
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Pine / Cross Dover, Masters of Reality
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