There be monsters here... by Thousand Pound Shyne

A Review by Mark Rowe

The band Thousand Pound Shyne is the creation of 12-string bassist Garth Blake from Cornwall, Prince Edward Island, Canada. Garth is the primary songwriter. Ian Paddon is featured on guitar and Andrew Smith on drums. All three players deliver solid performances on this album, with Garth and Ian doing the vocal work. 

There be monsters here... is a great title for an album! There are ten songs on this CD, over 40 minutes of music. Three of the songs include the ultimate monster, the 12-string bass. On each of these three songs the 12 was multi-tracked in combination with a Warwick Streamer 5-string bass to reinforce the bottom end. This multi-tracking is well done and you won't notice it, even though you now know it's there.

There is a very cool retro vibe to several of the songs on Monsters, in places it has the edginess of 70's arena rock combined with the best of today's rock. Garth has said that this band allows him to play the type of bass he loves, and that feeling is readily apparent in his music. His playing is energetic, melodic and fits the mood of the songs perfectly.

Garth used his Dean Rhapsody 12-string bass on this recording. The three songs that include the 12 have some of the most interesting bass lines on the album. Garth's tone is excellent and the 12-string fits very nicely into the mix. Here are my impressions of the three 12-string bass tunes:

"Burn" - This song starts with a very cool 12-string bass intro which is elegant in its simplicity. The bass riff carries the tune right along, getting heavier towards the end of the song with the inclusion of the 5-string for added rumble. The bridge has such a Led Zeppelin vibe that I almost had a flashback to the '60's - groovy!

"Happy To Be" - After listening to the album many times, this lighthearted song has me humming the tune. A very melodic 12-string bass line fits in well and some brief speed riffs add a lot of interest. Everybody sing along!

"Orange" - A solid rock tune with a good blend of acoustic guitar and heavy parts. Towards the end I can imagine Boston jamming with Pearl Jam.

The 'bottom line' on There be monsters here...: This is a genuinely enjoyable album from start to finish. The album flows well and the length is just right. Interesting songwriting, solid performances on instruments and vocals, great tones and a solid mix. I want to hear more!

Be sure to check out Garth Blake's MySpace and Featured Player pages