Album Review: John Dolmayan – These Grey Men
For those who have finally grasped the nettle of reality and accepted that System Of A Down releasing a new album is about as likely as a dead dog catching a ball, there is a small amount of consolation to be taken from this solo venture by drummer John Dolmayan.
A covers album reimagining tunes by artists as varied as Radiohead, AFI, Madonna and Talking Heads, among others, it’s a diverting and intriguing collection, with the sticksman frequently doing surprising things with the source material. Take his version of Radiohead’s Street Spirit (Fade Out), featuring Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Avenged Sevenfold frontman M. Shadows – a curious idea that, somehow, retains the mood of the original without sounding cringe.
Elsewhere, his SOAD buddy Serj Tankian adds his unique flair to David Bowie’s Starman and Talking Heads’ Road To Nowhere, while the take on Madonna’s Hung Up, with Armenian singer Sirusho, is a jacked-up, drum-led beast that’s barely recognisable from the disco-thumping original. It may essentially be a load of musicians having a laugh, rather than a proper album, but These Grey Men remains an inspired and creative enough project to be worth a gander nevertheless.
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