Evan Brewer

Alone

01. Actualize
02. Contraband
03. Currency
04. Altered Perspective One
05. Altered Perspective Two
06. Vertigo
07. The Decline
08. Degenerate
09. Looking West
10. A Climate For Change

[06/28/11]
[Sumerian Records]

An undertaking as ambitious as Alone speaks volumes of Evan Brewer‘s creativity, artistic strive, and talent. An album featuring nothing but bass guitar? It’s an interesting concept that I found to be quite intriguing when I first heard of Brewer’s solo project. I was skeptical that an entire album could be held together by just the sound of bass without any sort of percussion or accompaniment from other instruments. Admittedly, it takes some getting used to, but I think Evan Brewer is on to something here.

Despite Brewer’s metal backgrounds and being the new bassist for progressive death metal giants The Faceless, Alone is a very smooth and easy listening experience, sounding like the long lost bass tracks that probably should have ended up on the Animals as Leaders debut. Fun fact: Brewer was once in a band called Reflux with AAL’s Tosin Abasi (also of note, AAL’s drummer Navene Koperweis was in Animosity with Brewer as well. Small world!). The fact that both players come from the same roots definitely shows, as a lot of the melodic and compositional choices mirror that of his ex-bandmate.

Brewer pulls from jazz and funk influences and plays around with them to a large margin of success. Alone establishes Brewer’s talent and versatility, working as a de-facto resume of sorts. From the slap-happy and technically driven“Contraband” to the smooth jazzy outro “A Climate For Change,” Brewer weaves nearly thirty minutes of interesting basslines, rhythms, and melodies that hold attention surprisingly well despite the nearly stark atmosphere. On the initial listen, I couldn’t help but think how the album could be improved if there had been an equally interesting drum track and an atmospheric backing, but repeat listens of Alone found much charm in the album’s modest proposal of allowing the bass player to take the spotlight. I couldn’t imagine the album any other way; Brewer’s skill as a bassist warrants the undivided attention, and he fills his space quite well.

As musically stimulating as it is haunting, here’s no doubt in my mind that Evan Brewer’s Alone will become a major influence to bassists everywhere. Hopefully in a current scene where the guitarists call the shots, we’ll begin to see a rise of bassists sick of being pushed into the shadows. Brewer has just upped the bar for bass players everywhere, and hopefully he’ll keep raising it in the future as a soloist. Not just anyone could pull an album like this off, but Brewer does it spades. This is not only one of the better releases I’ve heard this year, but it’s also the most unique. Your move, bedroom guitar acts.

Evan Brewer – Alone gets…

4.5/5

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