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Label: Frontiers Music s.r.l.
Format: Download
Released: 2021
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9/10

If “Songs for the Apocalypse” were a person, it would show up at the party, make the social rounds, get into deep conversations, but also dance, get silly, and have fun. Everyone there would have a better time because of this album.


Jason Bieler was probably best known for his 1991 rise with the unique, playfully enigmatic Saigon Kick. That band hasn’t released an album since 1999, but this is the third Jason Bieler-related album to drop since 2018. It should prove to be a fix to keep his junkies going. Combining sounds of Saigon Kick, Eleven, Living Colour, a bit of latest-era Beatles, plus a little bit of a peak-MTV 90s sheen (minus the flannels), these songs are fascinating, mysterious, light, shiny, sparkly, deep, moody, psychedelic, and haunting/eerie when they need to be. The vocal harmonies and melodies recall the roots of his praise-worthy career. It’s challenging stuff, but not impenetrable; heady but not stuffy. Sly and sharp-tongued, like the court jester satirizing the entire court (Check out “Very Fine People”). Bieler’s playfulness and bald-faced joy in music are still fully present; they burst from your speakers like confetti.
There’s certainly a bit of seriousness and dark going on too. . . It’s called “Songs for the Apocalypse,” FFS. . . But it’s the blender of elements, styles, moods, rhythms, and guest musicians that really help this album to kick (no pun intended). I mean, it would still be a banger if Jason had done it 100% on his own, but the accompaniments and friends add greatly.
Here’s a list of them (If you’ll forgive the cut-and-paste from the promotional materials):

Todd LaTorre (Queensryche), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Devin Townsend, Pat Badger (Extreme), Butch Walker (ex-Marvelous 3), Bumblefoot (Sons of Apollo), Clint Lowery (Sevendust), Benji Webbe (Skindred), Kyle Sanders (Hellyeah) and more!

One of the more distinctive of the “and more” is Jeff Scott Soto, by the way. La Torre is on drums, Ellefson and Townsend are both on a track together. Everyone does an admirable job of adapting and melding into the system - - no one overpowers or sticks out. It always sounds like a Jason Bieler record.
I’m not going to recommend any individual tracks, because skipping any parts of this would be missing out. It’s a loaded sandwich with all kinds of trimmings - - you need to get all of it together. But I’ll advise you to listen to the first song after the instrumental intro, track 2: “Apology.” If that and track 3, “Bring Out Your Dead” don’t grab you, then. . . I don’t know. Listen to them again.

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