CD Review of Rock Garden by Ty Tabor

Music Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Buy your copy from Ty Tabor:
Rock Garden
starstarstarstarno star Label: Inside Out
Released: 2006
Buy from

It’s difficult to write anything about King’s X without gushing about how brilliant and shamefully ignored they are. Despite a very loyal following that supports the crap out of them when they tour, the band has inexplicably failed to break through to bigger venues and more impressive sales figures. One third of King’s X, Ty Tabor, who has formed side projects such as Platypus (with Dream Theatre and Dixie Dreg folks) and Jughead (a fucking great album that nobody heard), and appeared on other projects as a guest artist, had time to release his third solo album, Rock Garden, last year, and it proves an excellent follow-up to 2002’s Safety.

Safety displayed Tabor at his most vulnerable, writing about his divorce and letting all his sadness seep through (but still shredding when he needed to). Rock Garden, in comparison, is much more consistently heavy; there are some mellow moments, but mostly, Tabor just rawks. The bass, compared to King’s X’s records, is turned down here, allowing Tabor to make the guitar the main focus. His vocals – reminiscent, as always, of John Lennon’s – continue to improve; where earlier in his career, Tabor relied on effects to mask his voice, here he mostly leaves it front and center, beside his fretwork. “Play” and “Beautiful Sky” are two of his best vocal performances to date.

Tabor wrote, produced, and recorded the album, also playing guitar, bass and vocals, but he still invited a few friends; Randy St. John provides drums, and Doug Pinnick, Tabor’s bandmate in King’s X, provides some very cool backing vocals on “Pretty Good.” What a shock – another excellent album from one of the boys in King’s X.

~R. David Smola