If Mike Portnoy - one of metal's most creative and respected drummers - and Russell Allen - Symphony X's brilliantly powerful lead vocalist - roped in some mates and cobbled together a side project, it would most likely be a prog-metal/power-metal outfit which showcases Allen's soaring vocals and Portnoy's diverse drumming, right?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you 'Adrenaline Mob', the epitome of a midlife crisis. Adrenaline Mob is nothing like either Dream Theater or Symphony X (the bands Portnoy and Allen are most associated with respectively). It's not even like Avenged Sevenfold (Portnoy's most recent gig). It's partly Nickelback, partly U2, partly Foo Fighters and wholly disconcerting yet entertaining to watch - not unlike seeing your grandfather trying to skateboard or Yngwie Malmsteen playing a nursery rhyme on his Stratocaster.
Adrenaline Mob seems to be Portnoy's respite from all the hype and scrutiny revolving around his musical future, his way of 'getting away from it all' by playing half-serious rock music with other guys with ability but without the benefit of youthful edge.
Seriously, though, the band is actually worth a listen, if only for a laugh. The above video of their single 'Indifferent' is chuckle-worthy in its own right, what with its depiction of the band playing in the effin' desert U2-style and all. The song itself starts with a downtuned groove-rock riff and breaks into a clean verse featuring Russell Allen's surprisingly toned-down vocals. As the pre-chorus approaches, one starts to hope that Allen produces one of his oft-heard vocal outburts, but all hope disappears as the song enters its chorus, a mundane attempt at an anthem-ish, Bon Jovi-esque passage. The song then plods along until the obligatory guitar solo, played worthily by erstwhile solo musician Mike Orlando, but not in a manner one would expect from a Portnoy/Allen joint effort.
If your usual listens are Daughtry, Nickelback and the like, Adrenaline Mob are a good band to follow, with feel, technique and musicianship far superior to pretty much every mainstream rock band out there.
If, however, you are down the street of Dream Theater, Symphony X, Kamelot and their ilk, be prepared to be caught completely cold by the sheer weirdness that is Adrenaline Mob.
*Other notable songs from Adrenaline Mob: