January 14, 2019 Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out (Album Review)
Hard Rock and Heavy Metal have often seen their share of supergroups such as Velvet Revolver, Down, and Chickenfoot. What the genre hasn’t seen, is it’s first super-duo – until now. In 2014, two of Metal’s most notable bassists – Frank Bello of Anthrax and David Ellefson of Megadeth – debuted their own project called Altitudes & Attitude. That year, the pair released a 3 song eponymous EP, giving fans a taste of what Altitudes & Attitude is all about. As two golden gods of The Big Four (Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer, Metallica), Bello and Ellefson are renowned in the halls of Heavy Metal for notorious bass riffs on songs like Anthrax’s “Time” and Megadeth’s “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?”
Four years in the making, Altitudes & Attitude are primed for the release of their full length debut album, Get It Out, set to drop on January 18, 2019 thanks to the iconic Megaforce Records. To backtrack a bit, the ground work for Altitudes & Attitude first began conception in 2010 when Bello and Ellefson went on tour together teaching bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke. Requiring the assistance of backing tracks, Bello and Ellefson put their talents together and wrote some original music. Unexpectedly, Bello and Ellefson saw sparks fly when an explosion of musical chemistry ignited and the two realized something special had taken place.
Exposing unexplored talent, both men were found to be much more than incomparable bassists. On the mic, Bello emerged as a stirring Vocalist and Ellefson shined as a hard as nails Rhythm Guitarist. As soon as they could, Bello and Ellefson began writing new material and would eventually release the aforementioned debut EP as Altitudes & Attitude. While fans of Bello and Ellefson may have expected a full on Heavy Metal record, the music of Altitudes & Attitude is not what you would expect from these veterans of Thrash. A breathe of fresh air, Altitudes & Attitude embody a style all their own. On a different level from their norm, Bello and Ellefson bring a Punk inspired, compelling Hard Rock sound with a gripping lyrical content highlighted by Bello’s vocals.
Now, 2019 sees Altitudes & Attitude go for it all with thirteen new tracks on Get It Out. If you thought two legends wasn’t enough, Get It Out features guest spots by guitar heroes Ace Frehley, Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper), Gus G (ex-Ozzy Osbourne), and Russ Parrish (Steel Panther). Additional musicians joining in are Christian Martucci (lead guitar), Jon Donais (guitar), Jeff Friedl (drums), Randy Walker (organ), Miki Black (backing vocals), and David’s daughter Athena Ellefson (piano). Not just any old side project, Altitudes & Attitude means a lot to both founders as Ellefson stated: “[Get It Out] is very much an important musical statement from Frank and me. There’s a big musical part of each of us that doesn’t get heard anywhere else.“
At first note, Get It Out grabs hold of the listener with the punchy opening track “Get It Out.” Next, Bello’s vocals are emotive on “Late” as deep melodies and a stirring chorus speaks of loss. The exhilarating theme of emotions and the trials of life continue with the addicting hook of “Out Here,” “Slip,” and “Talk To Me.” A standout, “Another Day” sees a new light in the face of frustration while “Booze and Cigarettes” gives an outlet for pain. Not forgetting their roots, Altitudes & Attitude offer Metal tendencies on “Part of Me,” “Leviathan,” and the driving melodic progression of the album closer “Here Again.”
A new dose of Rock from familiar faces, Get It Out is an unexpected treat for fans of Bello and Ellefson. As stated, the talents of both musicians are on display, as Bello’s voice is spirited and moving while Ellefson’s guitar work is prominent alongside the creeping bass riffs both bring to the table. If you want to hear something different from two of your favorite Metal bassists, you must check out Altitudes & Attitude’s Get It Out. For these reasons, Cryptic Rock gives Get It Out 4 out of 5 stars.