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Strength In Numbers

24-7 Spyz

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Album Review

The second major-label release from 24-7 Spyz finds the band further developing their metal/funk/New York hardcore/R&B/jazz/reggae hybrid with typically ferocious energy. Often compared to Living Colour, 24-7 Spyz were always considerably heavier and dirtier-sounding. In fact, the record's first few tracks summon the spirit of Master of Puppets-era Metallica and homeboys Anthrax. The band they most recall here, though, is Fishbone. In fact, several tracks on Strength in Numbers sound like outtakes from Truth and Soul, Fishbone's 1988 masterpiece. As good as 24-7 Spyz was, however, the group unfortunately had neither the songwriting chops nor the crazed eclecticism of their California contemporaries. In other words, Strength in Numbers is quite impressive, but not much fun. There's also a lack of big hooks here, which was always 24-7 Spyz's biggest shortcoming. Even so, there's a lot to like; the music is just so heavy and tight, and the musicianship so superlative, that the disc is hard to turn off. Also, the album is a must-have for guitar nuts. Jimi Hazel is in perhaps the best form of his career here, ripping off one blistering solo after another. Overall, Strength in Numbers is a good hard rock album that makes a valiant attempt to push the envelope of the genre. Although the lack of catchy songs keeps it from being A-list, it's recommended to any fan of innovative metal.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

In the wake of Living Colour's success with 1988's Vivid, several other all-black hard rock outfits soon appeared — including 24-7 Spyz. Like Living Colour, 24-7 specialized in a merger of funk and heavy metal, with often message-filled lyrics. The group's leaders from their formation in 1986 to the present day have been guitarist Jimi Hazel (a gentleman who took his first and last names from two of his favorite guitarists — Jimi Hendrix and Funkadelic's Eddie Hazel) and bassist Rick...
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Strength In Numbers, 24-7 Spyz
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