There two things that are a guarantee in life-Death & Taxes. Oh yes, there is one more, Death & Taxes the band, is guaranteed to blow you away with their incredibly diverse sound and outstanding musicianship on their latest release The Alaska 12 Expeditions.
The band has dedicated the CD to beloved band member and founder Tom Shannon who passed away after suffering from cancer of the brain. Proceeds of all sales will go to support cancer research at UCLA’s Jonsson’s Cancer Research Center.
Right from the start, I must say that I think this is an incredible album. I have listened it to four times already and probably will four more times before the week is done. This recording has so many facets that it is quite difficult to put a label on it. I know that is exactly what the band wants to hear because who wants to be generalized or put into a little box anyway.
Artistically speaking, this album is a masterpiece. On one track your listening to hard rocking grunge like guitar (The Suffer Ring), then right after that finishes you hear harmonica, some blues, and a little jazz fusion (Death: Theory). I think that this variety and constant musical evolution would be the absolute elation everyone would seek in a CD, well, at least I do. The music is a progressive rock jazz blues fusion amalgamation. How is that for a mouthful? Well, believe it, this band offers all of that, and incredibly so in one song, like "Death: Theory," which is a marvelous instrumental composition that befits its title. Pondering death and theory of it takes you through the time of one man’s life, all of the simplicity, complexities, calamity and finally the end, the void that we never understand until death knocks on our own door. Interesting how there are 11 tracks yet the title indicates 12? There is not a track 12. This journey, #12, is the missing link, the unknown factor, the one no one living knows about, not yet anyway. Perhaps this was the ultimate tribute to Tom. Amazing.... how does one express a person’s life in eight minutes and on an instrumental track with some spoken word at the end? Death & Taxes does it.
There is so much more to this music than what I have expressed, my words are merely a fraction of what you will find inside this music. I hope that what I have said is enough to arouse your curiosity and for you to think about those that have suffered and died while leaving behind an eternal legacy of music for generation upon generation to enjoy. We owe a lot to music and the people that make it. This is a great album worthy of your attention.