Reviews & Suggestions

CD Review: David Alpha “Chameleon Wheelhouse” The Extended Version

A lot of solo artists don’t actually start off as a solo act. They start off playing with a band and go their own way after that band falls apart for whatever reason. That is just the case for Tampa-based recording artist David Alpha who had spent time with the band The Fons (pronounced “Phones”) before that band fell apart. And once that band disintegrated, Alpha decided to give it a try on his own. Currently, he is in the middle of creating a new solo release. But until that album comes out, he is promoting a few of the tracks from the release as a new EP. The new EP from David Alpha is entitled Chameleon Wheelhouse. And when creating this particular release, there are two versions to choose from- the original two-track release, or the Expanded version that contains four tracks. What follows is a description of the four-song Expanded Version of the EP.  

The new Chameleon Wheelhouse EP from David Alpha begins with the double-song track “Light the Rockets/Hungry Ghosts”. “Light the Rockets” finds Alpha creating a track that features a strong Rock and Roll feel to the music. The musical blend combines several different styles from the likes of seventies-era David Bowie and/or Marc Bolan of T-Rex. Needless-to-say, the style of music of the first half of the track would fit right into the music genre known as Glam Rock. When the first half of the track comes to an end, “Light the Rockets,” the second half, begins. With this half of the track, Alpha changes the style completely as he moves the music to an acoustic setting. In fact, “Light the Rockets” would have been right at home on radio back in the nineties amidst the “unplugged” craze at that time. While the track’s six-minute timing is slightly long, that time is split between the two different styles of music which is like Alpha having recorded two three-minute songs.

With the next track, David Alpha releases a song that contains a strong Rock and Roll feel to the music. The track “Universalon” finds Alpha singing about his disdain about the whole state of Christianity in America. The lyrics of the song sing about how the religion is less about the values on which it was created and more about the material side of life that seems to have crept into the religion here over the years. The straight-out Rock and Roll music that is contained within the track would easily have been right at home on radio formats back in the eighties. The strong feel of the electric guitars help to create that Rock and Roll feel to the track. While the lyrical content of the track may be slightly controversial, the Rock and Roll approach helps to balance the track out.

The Chameleon Wheelhouse release continues with the track “Wake Up Gloria”. For the first several seconds of the track, David Alpha recites a poem in a manner that brings to mind the style of the beatniks from back in the fifties and sixties. Eventually, the track turns musical. When the music does appear, it is simply one guitar and Alpha’s vocals. The first few seconds of the music to “Wake Up Gloria” from David Alpha take on a musical approach that is reminiscent of the song “G-L-O-R-I-A” from the band THEM. Soon, though, the acoustic music of the track takes its own direction. But that direction finds Alpha seemingly drawing once again from the influence of the music from Marc Bolan/T-Rex. Moreover, because of the single guitar and vocals that make up the majority of the track, the feel of the song actually brings to mind the duo version of the band that was formed under the moniker of Tyrannosaurus Rex before the band’s moniker was shortened. While the majority of the track features only a single guitar, a second one is brought in late in the track to help add texture to the music.

David Alpha’s current EP called Chameleon Wheelhouse concludes with the song “Me or Him”. With this track, Alpha creates a track that feels like a vignette taken right out of movie. And with the lyrics of “He looks down like a punk in a wasteland,” you can almost envision a scene out of Mad Max or another post-apocalyptic movie. “Me or Him” contains a certain amount of darkness to the lyrics but that only adds to the power of the music. To go along with the visual of the story, the music creates one of the strongest Rock and Roll songs of the four tracks that make up the EP. The Rock and Roll on the track revolves around a strong guitar and a driving beat. There are also other guitars that seem to swirl around the listener. The added guitar effects help to add depth to the track. With all of the various elements in the song, the track brings to mind something that could have been created by Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy and the rest of the band called The Cult. This song is easily the best song on the EP.

The new Chameleon Wheelhouse Extended EP from David Alpha is a short release. But the four tracks that are contained within it have a nice variety to them. With the various elements, influences and musical directions that are present, the artist certainly does a good job of whetting our whistle for when the entire album is finished and available.

David Alpha is still in the midst of creating the upcoming release. Because of that, very little is available online as far as videos are concerned. To experience some of the music from the Chameleon Wheelhouse Extended EP from David Alpha, check out the track “Me or Him” from the bandcamp site for the release. 

To find the Chameleon Wheelhouse Extended EP from David Alpha, click on the album cover below: 









For more information, check out David Alpha’s PR Firm, Whiplash PR. Click on the logo below to visit their site.