CHRIS CAFFERY — Pins and Needles (review)

CHRIS CAFFERY — Pins and Needles album cover Album · 2007 · Power Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
2007’s ‘Pins and Needles’ is the second studio album (or third, depending on whether you consider ‘W.A.R.P.E.D.’ a compilation or not), by American heavy metal guitarist Chris Caffery. Best known for his work with Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Caffery’s solo work is a lot heavier and aggressive than any of his bands, and following on from his previous solo efforts, we’re in for plenty more heavy goodness.

Brimming with skull-crushing guitar riffs and Caffery’s rather unique vocal phrasing with angry, cynical and sarcastic lyrics, ‘Pins and Needles’ continues to demonstrate why the man is such an underrated player and writer. Without the restraints and expectations of mainstream record labels, Caffery is given free-reign to rant and speak his mind to his heart’s content.

But unlike its predecessors, which were solid albums from top-to-bottom, the quality of the music on ‘Pins and Needles’ does tend to drop a bit towards the end, especially when you consider that this album consists of fifteen tracks, there’s bound to be a bit of filler material in there.

But for good material, there’s still an abundance of tracks here that hold up well to Caffery’s previous work. ‘Pins and Needles’, ‘66’, ‘Chained’, ‘It’s S-A-D’, ‘Reach Out and Torment Again’, ‘Y.G.B.F.K.M.’ and ‘Mettle Eastern’ are all exceptional songs, and bonus track ‘Once Upon a Time’ ends the album on an uplifting note, which might seem odd and out-of-place, yet Caffery pulls it off effortlessly.

Overall, ‘Pins and Needles’ isn’t quite as good as 2004’s ‘Faces’ or 2005’s ‘W.A.R.P.E.D.’, but it’s still a pretty solid release with enough highlights to make it worth a listen or two, and if you like your music heavy and full of attitude then you won’t be disappointed.
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