• 6/10
    BILLY SHEEHAN - Holy Cow! - 6/10


Mascot Records
Release date: April 14, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

So, it’s time for the third solo album from bass master extraordinaire, Billy Sheehan. Sheehan has over 4,000 gigs in the past touring with bands and artists like Talas, David Lee Roth, Mr. Big, and more recently Steve Vai. He is voted the “Best Rock Bass Player” 5 times in Guitar Player magazine’s Readers Poll, and he has sold over 4 million records in his career. In other words, Billy Sheehan has become a living legend since he started out with Talas in the late 70s.

Billy Sheehan’s new release Holy Cow! features guest performances by Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X), Dug Pinnick (King’s X), Simone Sello and Ray Luzier (Korn, ex-Stone Temple Pilots, ex-David Lee Roth). The album showcases Sheehan’s abilities as songwriter, singer and instrumentalist, but though there are some great songs on this album, it doesn’t rock steady till the finish line.

The album opener “In A Week Or Two (I’ll Give It Back To You)” is a short Hard Rocker that’s ok, but not brilliant. Compared to the album opener from his previous solo album Cosmic Troubadour (2005), “Toss It On The Flame,” this song dwindles. It contains one element in particular that’s heard several places on this record and can annoy you a bit in the end. That’s Sheehan’s constant use of distortion on his bass sound to enhance and amplify the overtones. It seems that when he’s using this “effect” he overuses it. It could be argued that this is part of Sheehan’s trademark sound, but for those who don’t consider the usage of distortion as a part of a bass’ sound in general, this can be a bit too much.

Song number two “A Lit’l Bit’l Do It To ‘Ya Ev’ry Time” features a lead guitar performance by Billy Gibbons and this one should have been the album opener. It’s a bluesy Hard Rocker that works out great and the collaboration between Sheehan and Gibbons is nice to listen to. Sheehan’s vocals actually sound a bit playful on this one, and it suits the song. The first instrumental on the record, “Dynamic Exhilarator,” features Sheehan’s former band mate Paul Gilbert on lead guitar. Much thanks to the latter, this song is one of the coolest on the entire record. This is world class instrumental music.

“Just Another Humanoid” is one of those great Hard Rockers on this record. It’s got complex riffs that sounds cool, a great instrumental part that’ll blow your mind, and good singing from Sheehan. His vocal performances vary on this release, and though he isn’t the best singer around he manages to do much with what he got.

“Make It To Another Day (I Keep Rolling On My Way)” is the first ballad on this record. It’s a nice ballad and it contains a great guitar solo, courtesy of the man himself. Billy Sheehan actually plays everything on this record himself, with the exception of the drums (Luzier). The second ballad, “Turning Point,” that features Dug Pinnick on vocals is a seven and a half minutes of wasted time. It’s basically the same chords over and over, and you’re actually bored after one minute of this endless devastation of music.

“Another Broken Promise” and “Two People Can Keep A Secret (If One Of Them Is Dead)” are also good songs, but fail to excite enough. It’s a relief every time there’s an instrumental part, because then you know there’s something to be excited about. The latter songs actually contain a great guitar solo by Simone Sello (that also recorded and produced this album) that’s worth checking out.

The album could probably have benefited a bit from having more technical instrumentals. Sheehan’s focus seems to have been on creating cool Hard Rock songs, and though he is a good songwriter and instrumentalist, he really can’t lift the songs enough with his voice. The songs on this release vary a bit too much and it’s nowhere near having the overall quality that its predecessor Cosmic Troubadour had. If you’re a bit of a Billy Sheehan fan you’ll probably add this one to your collection, but if this artist is new to you then you should check out his earlier works first.


  • Kristian Singh-Nergård

    Kristian is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He is Metal Express Radio's Marketing and Communications Manager, and on occasions also reviewer and photographer. Based out of Oslo, Norway, Kristian is a bass player and owner of the independent record label Pug-Nose Records. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2006.

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