Masters of Reality Deep In The Hole

More rock-oriented and less experimental than 2000's Welcome To The Western Lodge, this is Masters Of Reality's most accessible record. Hearkening back to the straightforward rock sensibilities of Sunrise On The Sufferbus, openers "Third Man On The Moon" and "A Wish For A Fish" are solid cuts that make one wonder what 1994's never-released follow-up The Ballad Of Jody Frosty sounded like. "Counting Horses" is mellower but no less urgent, with plenty of front-man Chris Goss's trademark vocal harmonies and great hi-hat work by drummer John Leamy. "Major Lance" and "Scatagoria" have keyboard-augmented orchestration like Western Lodge, tweaked to sonic flawlessness in the production stage by Goss. "High Noon Amsterdam" features the guest throat of Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan, while the whimsical title track sports a snare shuffle and lots of "La-La-Las" from Goss. His guitar solos in "Roof Of The Shed" (co-written by Josh Homme) employs that broad, Beatles-inspired atmosphere that ELO perfected in their day, and "Shotgun Son" spotlights Goss's close harmonies and Screaming Trees-styled chordage. Undeniably one of their best albums yet, Deep In The Hole reels you in and keeps you coming back for more. (Brownhouse)