"Straws" (Aston Cross Music, Inc.; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


Concerned by the tide of world events following 9/11, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward wrote and recorded this eerie, hauntingly effective single in an effort to draw attention to his concerns and make his voice heard.

Definitely more along the line of Ward's solo outings than anything he did with Black Sabbath, "Straws" is Ward's heart-wrenching response to an unimaginable, cataclysmic event.  The song is heartfelt and real and it's impossible to listen without feeling the hopelessness of the situation Ward has painted.

Only 2,200 of the CDs will be pressed and the first 1,200 were shipped to governmental heads of state throughout the world, humanitarian organizations, peace support groups, media outlets, musicians and actors. That leaves only 1,000 for Bill Ward and Black Sabbath fans. Ward isn't selling the CDs, however - he's offering them in exchange for a gift to one of the many charities listed on his website at Each CD is numbered and personally autographed by Bill.

"Straws" is Bill Ward's cry for sanity in the chaos of today's world political climate. As such, it is a deeply personal recording that may not fit your current musical taste but that will indelibly affect you nonetheless.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.