Matt Abts, “Planet of the Abts” (CD review)

(recently reviewed for Relix; direct link)

Matt Abts, Planet of the Abts (self-released)

Gov’t Mule began life as an Allman Brothers side project, and now the Mule has spawned its own spin-off: Matt Abts and bassist Jorgen Carlsson have joined forces with guitarist/keyboardist/singer T-Bone Andersson —an old friend of Carlsson’s from Sweden.

The result is a wildly rambunctious, highly unlikely hybrid of sounds that nevertheless appeal, from hard and heavy blues-tinted rock to arty, synth-laden material like “Circus” and “Planet Pt. 2,” reminiscent of Pink Floyd.

Opener “Planet Pt. 1” kicks the disc into action with a heavy riff augmented with horns (courtesy of Mule multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis ), mellow piano overlays and acid-washed guitar. Andersson’s powerhouse six-string work is featured again on “Dressed Up Looking Fine” and “Deep Into Self,” and the band turns Stones oldie “Off the Hook” into a chugging rave-up. It is a nice planet to visit.

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