For the second time in his career, New York bassist Frank Bello steps into the studio without the help of his Anthrax bandmates to record something a little different. Whereas previous side project Altitudes and Attitude was a collaborative affair with Dave Ellefson of Megadeth and Jeff Friedl of A Perfect Circle, six track EP Then I’m Gone (Rare Bird Recordings) is a much more personal affair with Bello playing almost all of the instruments himself.
Released as a 12” gatefold vinyl, the six tracks on offer are a combination of newly written material and extracts from Bello’s 2021 autobiography, Fathers, Brothers, And Sons: Surviving Anguish, Abandonment, And Anthrax with Bello narrating the excerpts himself. Opening with a blast of Queens of the Stone Age type energy, the catchy title track hits hard and fast before the loose, uptempo jangle of the Foo Fighters-esque ‘It Won’t Be Long’ and final cut ‘See Me Now’.
Narrated by the man himself, the flip side contains a selection of stories from Bello’s memoir. Spoken above a musical soundtrack, these include his first experiences with drugs and alcohol, listening to Canadian prog legends Rush and learning how to play guitar thanks to his uncle, Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante.
While the second side is aimed more towards fans, the first side of Then I’m Gone is an instant grabber. Three high quality hard rock songs possessed of a real studio vibrancy, Bello playing to his strengths while keeping his mid-range vocal parts short and to the point.
An excellent companion piece to last year’s book release.
Buy the EP and book here:
7 / 10