January 18, 2021

Jason Bieler is an American singer, songwriter, musician and producer and is most probably best known as co-founder of Saigon Kick, the American glam metal band. It also appears that he played in an early touring version of Talisman alongside Jeff Scott Soto and was also a member of Super Transatlantic which featured several musicians from Saigon Kick plus Pat Badger of Extreme. In addition, he has released several solo albums and has become something of an iconic maverick in the world of rock music and, in my humble opinion, is rather reminiscent of the eccentric Vivian Stanshall in full Sir Henry mode. Indeed, he is another of those quite delightful musicians for which the only word you need to describe them is eccentric and he simply revels in this designation especially when you consider that he describes himself on his website as a ‘post apocalyptic troubadour with a penchant for the sonically grotesque’.

So, what you can expect on his new album is the unexpected with a truly wide variety of styles presented for you delectation but all come under the all-encompassing title of progressive rock? Basically, Jason Bieler plays all instruments on the album but has also called in a diverse collection of friends and colleagues who also bring their considerable skills to the project and a full list of these can be seen below but a small selection are Todd LaTorre (Queensrÿche), Dave Ellefson (Megadeth), Devin Townsend and Pat Badger which is a cool set of names to have on your album! Bieler takes funky beats and adds chunky guitars combined with strange rhythms and changing time signatures to make a diverse rock album that is often understated and really does sound different every time you play it. It’s an odd mixture of commercial rock beats with a whimsy that you would expect from Canterbury rather than his native United States which makes it very difficult to give any musical reference points as I cannot really compare it to anything I have heard before; Jason Bieler is a truly unique musician. He runs his own record label, Bieler Brothers, which he does with his brother and this has allowed him to indulge his musical journeys which has led to the eclectic and fascinating musician he is today and let’s hope that Frontiers allow his to remain his own man.

Songs For The Apocalypse is progressive in every sense of the word and is complex and challenging but rewarding if you give it the necessary listens required to allow the full depth of the music to be revealed.

Songs For The Apocalypse track list

  1. Never Ending Circle (2:39)
  2. Apology (4:48) (Todd LaTorre – drums, Kevin Scott – bass & Andee Blacksugar – guitar solos)
  3. Bring Out Your Dead (4:59) (Edu Cominato – drums, David Ellefson – bass & Devin Townsend – guitar solo)
  4. Annalise (4:44) (Kevin Scott – bass)
  5. Stones Will Fly (4:09) (Ricky Sanders – drums, , Pat Badger – bass & Butch Walker – solo & extra guitars)
  6. Down In A Hole (3:47) (Edu Cominato – drums, Kyle Sanders – bass & Stephen Gibb – extra guitars)
  7. Anthem For Losers (5:22) (Ricky Sanders – drums & Clay Cook – bass, piano, guitar twanging)
  8. Horror Wobbles The Hippo (2:35) (Emil Werstler – extra guitar solos and soundscapes)
  9. Beyond Hope (4:27) (Benji Webbe – vocals, Ricky Sanders – drums, David Ellefson – bass & Bumblefoot – guitar solo)
  10. Crab Claw Dan (4:27)
  11. Born Of The Sun (4:20) (Edu Cominato – drums, Kyle Sanders – bass & Clint Lowery – guitar solo)
  12. Baby Driver (1:11)
  13. Alone In The World (3:31) (Ricky Sanders – drums, Jeff Scott Soto – vocals)
  14. Very Fine People (4:20)
  15. FKSWYSO (1:32)