It seems like just a few weeks ago I was reviewing Jeff Hughell's album Chaos Labyrinth. I proclaimed that album a work of bass genius, so you can imagine that I was excited to hear the songs on the advance copy of Hughell's new EP Trinidad Scorpion Hallucinations.
Let me begin by saying that the title and the concept of the EP itself intrigued me right away. I LOVE spicy food. I guess that kind of goes along with all of my other loves: hot guitars, cars, and sports teams. Being of south-central Italian descent, I can't help my love of all things spicy. For the uninitiated, the Trinidad Scorpion is the world's most spicy chili pepper. Jeff's EP is a concept album that takes you on a musical journey of eating one of the most feared and hottest peppers in the world.
Throughout the album, Jeff's astounding playing (on an 8-string bass for those new to Jeff's solo work) keeps the listener hopping. You can avoid the third degree burns on your esophagus by listening to this album instead of actually eating the Trinidad Scorpion pepper, but your ears are in for quite a trip. Hughell keeps the listener entertained as he takes you with him through the journey of eating such a notorious pepper. If eating the actual Trinidad Scorpion is anything like Jeff's record, I will admit that I'm never going to try it - but not for the reasons you would think. Quite frankly, the intricate bass lines and guitar work on this album lead me to believe that the pepper in question would leave me absolutely exhausted. Hughell does such a good job of conveying the emotions and feelings that I can only imagine the complexity that my taste buds would have to endure, and the sheer heaviness of the record also leads me to believe that the Trinidad Scorpion would kick my as. "The Crown Won't Cool It Down" is the track that best describes the feeling I speak of!
Standout tracks for this reviewer include "Burn the Soul", and "The Other Side", but each track stands on it's own, while contributing to the overall feel that only a concept album can deliver. Those of us that miss such music are always giddy when we can listen to something like Trinidad Scorpion Hallucinations. In fact, the title track is a great representative of the entire EP. Slow, haunting melodies, fast "bursts" of bass virtuosity, and an overall groove that is just as pleasing whether it is the core of your listening party, or in the background as you host your own "spicy food fest".
The album is scheduled for release on January 8, 2016. Stay tuned for the official press release, but in the meantime, take my word for it that this is one hot album that you'll want to get your hands on the day it's released. For all other things Jeff Hughell, check out his website at www.jeffhughell.com
1. Burn The Soul
3. Trinidad Scorpion Hallucinations
4. Brief Lapse of Clarity
5. The Crown Won't Cool It Down
6. The Other Side