The criteria for ‘supergroup’ continues to sink like the deck chairs of the Lusitania. When properly used, ‘supergroup’ describes a collaboration of rule-smashing visionaries pooling their virtuosic talents in service of a bracing new sound. Think Down or Them Crooked Vultures.
Lately, the epithet is thrown at any side-project-boasting dudes who have done a bit of time in a well-known group. Fronted by Scott Weiland and backed by guitarist Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (Guns N’ Roses), bassist John Moyer (Disturbed), guitarist John Votta and drummer Vince Votta, AOA claim to transcend such tawdry descriptors, insisting in their promotional bio that they are in fact, a “mega group”. Hey, whatever tastes good in your coffee.
Hyperbole aside, musicianship is here in spades – tracks like Small Batch Whiskey and Superstar glisten with taut muscularity and sturdy grooves, with Weiland sounding as robust as his halcyon days in STP. Yet beyond the chunky riffs and sprawling solos, the material badly lacks the anthemic hooks and mountain-sized, fuck-off choruses that put their other groups on the map.
The problem here is not the talents of the musicians but a cavernous dearth of memorable songs, resulting in a polished but ultimately forgettable clutch of generic radio rock./o:p