Spot on covers of original Led Zeppelin classics
Vocals off on some songs, unoriginal music
Sally Tomato and Friends – Led Zeplin III
Sally Tomato and Friends latest, “Led Zeppelin III,” is a tribute to the legendary band of the 70’s, Led Zeppelin. The band does a fine job covering many Zeppelin classics. They get the sound and the vibe down pretty damn well, with only a few slight missteps.
On “Immigrant Song,” Tomato & Friends emulate the thrashing guitars, high whiny voice of Robert Plant, and 70’s vibe almost flawlessly. The guitar playing is on point, and the instrumentation is spot on. Tomato’s vocals are tight also– the only take-away is the overly distorted quality of the singing. This helps to blend Tomato’s voice in with the music so that it’s hard to tell that the voice is not quite as deep or throaty as Plant’s. But despite this slight misstep, the song is pretty spot on. “Celebration Day” again is a pretty close copy of the original. The 70 vibes, the guitars, all of the elements are there. But on this particular track, it’s more obvious that the vocals are sung by a female rather than a male. The voice is not quite as distorted in this song as it is in the first. But that is a good thing– the band is not hiding behind anything to try and make the vocals something they are not. Next, the band tackles a slower Zeppelin song, “Tangerine.” Tomato & Friends get it right on this track too, staying true to the original. The vocals are good and the instrumentation on point. It’s as enjoyable to listen to as the original.
Sally Tomato and Friends is a talented band that is obviously huge fans of Led Zeppelin. They have a good grasp on the music, and come really close to sounding like the original. They are more successful when embracing the differences between their own sound and the original songs, instead of trying to hide behind vocal distortion methods to mask it. And a band with this talent should focus on their own skills and showcase their own music instead of merely doing covers of songs from a band as iconic as Led Zeppelin. This only makes it hard to reach the same level as the original songs, and lacks originality. Hopefully the next EP we see from the band is one filled with original music.