He Walks Alone by Elliott Savage III
Released on 08.09.2023 promo CD on https://normandthenightmarez.bandcamp.com/.../he-walks-alone Reviewed on 16.08.2023 Reviewed by Holger E @radioteddyboys1983
The not so normal review, for a not so NORMal album The Band you have here is Mr Z himself. Norm Elliott on Drums, Bass, Guitar and Vocals.
Two years of working on the different side of Mr NormZ. Dealing with Demons, dark humour as well as having lots of fun with tongue in cheek twisted lyrics. This brings you to the next step of this Album. The music itself. This is not the scary thundering Psycho NormZ. This is stepping into the shadows and creating something completely new and crazy NormZ. Is this the real NormZ? I don’t think so. I think it’s his darker Alter-Ego. This will even petrify the devil.
Track by Track 1.: Smokin’ Gun: Cool walking speed Bassline coupled with a simple Drum beat to bring you the intro towards some scruffy and rough sounding Guitar riff. To some surprise Bass and Guitar playing the same riff in combination with the devilish Smokin’ Gun lyrics. Layers of changing Guitar solos from screaming to loaded reverb over scruffy just the same way the Devil would chase you.
2.: Deep Dark Dirty Sinkin’ Feelin’: Great Rhythm Guitar just sitting behind a solid Guitar riff. Together with a cord changing Bass and a solid Drum to set the tempo. NormZ shows of his skills at changing the type of vocals he is using to tell a story. I have a Sinkin’ Feelin’ that it will go Deeper Darker and Dirtier from here on out.
3.: Mystery Man: This drum intro is so dry that it rubs on to the Bass, which is so distorted and scraping on your ear drums that is getting scary. Norm layers the Guitar right on top of the bass line and the combination is as mysterious as the Man himself. The lyrics are a bit like NormZ records. You never know when they appear.
4.: Mortality: Blues? Bluegrass? No, it is very dark Blues. Shuffling brush played Drums giving the track a spooky feel. You just meld right into the fingerpicking Guitar underlined with a Rhythm Guitar in the same style. The Bass is burbling away in the back. Matching the right words with the Guitar gives it just the wanted underling to scare you. Could this be a real life story or just a twisted dream? Who knows...
5.: Don’t Look In Her Eyes: Dragging along like a Funeral Procession. The Drums are as cold. That Bass gives you shivers. The rhythm will hypnotise you on every level. Reverb loaded Guitar to point out how dangerous she really is. First time that we have some melodic Backing Vocals on this Album. Great Guitar solo half way through the track. Could it be Medusa?
6.: She Cried: Picking up the pace, well more up-beat. Giving it a slight Latin feel. Nice Kick-Drum that just sits right in the middle to keep the tempo. The Bass is ticking in the background and gives some body to this track. Great old school Rock'n'roll rhythm from the Acoustic Guitar. Throw in some strumming and fingerpicking from the Lead Guitar and you feel that we all had this at least once in our lives. Maybe?
7.: Sticky End: Listen to the Lyrics. That is real life. This is an up-tempo track where nothing is sticky. This would make a great violent movie, we are just missing the hero for now. The layers of Rhythm and Lead Guitar are lifted with the help of some piano chords. This is storytelling in a ghostly way. Some Kick-drums are used to highlight some lyric breaks.
8.: I Was Just Your Meal Ticket Baby: Here comes the Rock’n’roll train. And then the rest joined in. Rim-shots sounding like a mad psycho Slap-Bass. Great Harmonica on reverb that sounds like the steam from the train. Then the screamin’ Guitar kicks in to steal some of these Meal Tickets. The Rhythm Guitar is as easy to swallow as the story itself. Well, I hope nobody fell for this baby.
9.: Burn The City Down: Let’s all be happy and clap hands. Ups i got that wrong. Still clapping with burning hands but only for the devil. Drums are kept simple to support the Guitar and Piano, which play in perfect harmony. You can nearly hear Norm have a giggle during the song, just because he has fun.
10.: Every Day I Lay A Flower On Your Grave: It reminded me of a 1974 German pop song that was a cover version of an instrumental track by an Italian band. But then you listen to it in full and find out that it is: the love song for the one you miss for days and years on end. Suffering vocals that are accompanied by dry sounding Electric Guitar and beautiful Acoustic Guitar. For all the fallen loved ones.
11.: Roll Of The Dice: That’s life. Nice shuffle on Drums. Just in the back you have the lazy boomin’ of the Bass. Earworm like Guitar riffs to match the lyrics, and then you get hit by a Gibson reverb for a few seconds to give the song a cool break and it turns around and starts at the beginning. Just like life and how the Dice are stopping.
12.: He Walks Alone: The battle of the Surf-Guitar and Twang -Guitar that still work together with some hard hitting Drums to keep them sane. Just the rumbling of the Bass filling the background. Must be the Lone Wolf. Everybody knows one.
13.: The Hillbilly Cat: Drum fills rushing in to greet the aggressive Guitar. This Cat does not play like a Hillbilly. The Bass is underlining the Guitar with brutal riffs to give this track a very dark mean feeling.
Summary: So the not so NORMal album He Walks Alone is by far NormZ wackiest he has done. It is great to hear and see that you can approach music from so many angles and incorporate even more influences. It took me a while to figure out which song comes from his heart and which song comes from the twisted, funny part of his brain. The true NormZ fans here will appreciate this Album and have it in their collection. For the new-comers it will be a wild, funny and disturbing ride with the devil. Just one warning: Do not expect pure Rockabilly or Psychobilly. This is all the billy’s mixed with some very unusual styles.