Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr Altitudes & Attitude brings together Anthrax bassist Frank Bello with Megadeth’s David Ellefson and A Perfect Circle’s Jeff Friedl. This project sounds nothing like any of those acts, however, instead focusing on melodic, radio-friendly hard rock in the style of Foo Fighters: Big, stomping drums and choruses laden with hooks and buoyed by highly memorable riffs and chord progressions. If one didn’t know any better, if fact, they’d probably never guess that this was the child of two heavy metal titans. Of course, Bello was briefly a member of Helmet and, while in exile from Megadeth, formed F5, which perhaps explains the alternative-intensive sound. No matter what you call it, everyone will want to know the answer to the most basic question: Is it any good? In fact, it is. Those aforementioned stomping qualities kick into overdrive from the LP’s first track, the arena ready title track. From there, only varies the intensity slightly: “Slip” is mid-tempo-ish compared to the others and there’s a moment to observe some seriously heavy metal soloing via “Part of Me.” Otherwise, it’s largely run-and-gun, take no prisoners, culminating in an album that more than makes up for in intensity what it lacks in song-to-song dynamics. Both Ellefson and Bello prove themselves capable rhythm guitarists (no surprise, really) as they’re joined by a range of lead players, including Ace Frehley (“Late”), Alice Cooper’s Nita Strauss, Gus G. (Ozzy, Firewind) and Satchel (Steel Panther), among others. Rather than feeling like a collection of songs designed to give guests a chance to shine, the aforementioned six-stringers are mere icing on the cake. Most of the time, the listener hones in on the melodic content and Bello’s quite capable vocal style. No, he’s not the second coming of Freddie Mercury, but he maintains a pleasant and above-average performance throughout, pausing for the UFO-style instrumental “Leviathan” before getting back to the Foo business at the record’s back end. That’s really where the trouble, such as it is, with the record begins. Lesser songs, such as “Cold” and “Booze and Cigarettes” give the sense that the trio has but one setting and one mood, one intent on getting hands in the air and butts out of seats. In short, the LP could be trimmed by three or four songs with other tracks relegated to B-sides in order to create a shorter but more breathtaking experience for the listener, one that would further affirm Altitudes & Attitude’s true might and leave us breathless instead of waiting around for the final track. Still, the journey is more than worthwhile, and if Get It Out doesn’t occupy a top spot in your 2019 playlist for the entire year, it’s still pretty damn exciting and likely to elicit memories of, “Oh yeah. That has some good songs on it.” (The lyrical obsession with escape wears a little thin as well.) There is one late album revelation: the ballad-y “Here Again,” a song that, in a bygone era, would have had a chance at climbing into the upper reaches of the charts. It’s the kind of song that makes you reach for the volume dial and crank higher and higher. (It’s nice hat tip to Dinosaur Jr. as well.) This album won’t leaving you ranting and raving or maybe declaring Altitudes & Attitude your new favorite band, but it is one hell of a fun ride, especially when things kick into high gear for the expected thrash-ish freak out. In some ways, Bello and Ellefson finally embracing what they’re best known for feels like a bigger victory than the restraint the offer on the rest of the collection. So, when’s the sophomore LP?