Northern Lights

Album review: Fieldy – Bassically

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Bassically is the second solo album from Korn bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu. Unlike his work with Korn, this album isn’t heavy, which is a large contrast to what his band’s sound is.

It is primarily an experiment of emotion through a bass guitar, seamlessly blending several genres that interest the artist. Due to this blend, Fieldy is able to play in several styles that he wouldn’t have been able to with Korn themselves. However, throughout all the differences incorporated in this album, Fieldy still keeps features that are distinctively his.

Bassically is the second solo album from Korn bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu. Unlike his work with Korn, this album isn’t heavy, which is a large contrast to what his band’s sound is. It is primarily an experiment of emotion through a bass guitar, seamlessly blending several genres that interest the artist. Due to this blend, Fieldy is able to play in several styles that he wouldn’t have been able to with Korn themselves. However, throughout all the differences incorporated in this album, Fieldy still keeps features that are distinctively his.

All in all, this is not a bad album, although it had a lot more potential than it delivered. As an experimental album however, it does have its own diamonds in the rough so to speak, including some amazing melodic playing, and lightning fast technically complicated basslines and riffs.

On the flip side, having no lyrics whatsoever, the tracks tend to get stale and boring really quickly, making the album drag on and hard to listen to. This, of course, is only for the most part, but as stated before, there are some really good tracks in the mix of this album.

There are three main ‘standout’ songs, in my opinion. The first is Bass O Rama, which is an incredible opening track, as it gives an amazing insight into what the rest of the album is about. Because this is the first track, the bass-only feel with a ‘lead’ bass is very fresh, and surprises the listener with just how rhythmically complex the basslines can be. His amazing use of effects pedals are notable on this track – especially for his ‘lead’ bass – combining an octave and a wah pedal to try and truly emulate the sound of a guitar and make it considerably more interesting for the listener.

The second standout track is 15 String Exodus, which was primarily, for me, an audiological palate cleanser, due to its placement in the album and the contrasting elements of the composition. It seems to have been written with the entire idea of giving the listener a rest –  and it works perfectly. He makes this track stand apart from the others because it is a much lower tempo, using a military style, marching snare and a single bass, albeit one with 15 strings, which is played in a very gentle, soothing manner, allowing the listener to then get back to their senses after a barrage of low end rhythms, which have absolutely no presence in this song.

The third and final standout track is Check This Out, mainly due to its rapid-fire slap and pop basslines. As a bassist myself, I understand just how complicated this song would have been to play, and it also has to be the single most rhythmically complex song on the album, with loads of interesting stops and starts in very interesting places.

Not only is it very technical, but it also does an amazing job of catching you off guard, as it literally comes from nowhere, with a simple introduction before going into the rapid-fire bassline that makes this song so catchy.

On the whole, the album would get top marks for its unique concept, but as novel as it is, the sound becomes repetitive and it may quickly lose its appeal for many true bass aficionados.

Words by Callum Tilbury

Track listing:

Bass O Rama (Ft. Ray Luzier)
Charlie Brown
Step Right Up (Ft. Ray Luzier)
Buck of Funk
Basque K Cinco (Ft. Ray Luzier)
15 String Exodus
JD Fresh (Ft. Jonathon Davis)
Zibba Zibop (Ft. Ray Luzier)
Check This Out
Bass Invaders
I Wuv Bass Mon (Ft. Brian Welch & Noah Bernado)
15 String Graffiti
Dance Your Bass Off
Give Me Five (Ft. Steve Licata)
You Can Do It
Mr Bassmen (Ft. Ray Luzier)
Bass Age