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I must confess to finding this release a disappointment. Brett Garsed and T.J. Helmerich are two amazing talents and even if not exactly household names they are undoubtedly amongst the finest and most individual stylists in the history of the electric guitar. This makes it all the harder to comprehend why they would record their 3rd CD as a vocal album with hardly any guitar solos. Their previous releases "Quid Pro Quo" and "Exempt" did have vocals but in the main were powerhouse fretboard workouts that ALL guitar fans should seek out.
Helmerich here (I am assuming) is leading the way, with much emphasis on engineering and tonal effects and he provides some quite impressive vocals. In my opinion the songs are patchy, with a surprising amount of acoustic backing initially. A couple of the numbers reminded me of Led Zeppelin's softer material but the songwriting is inconsistent and some of the shorter tracks are experimental and just don't cut it - "King of Neglect" and "Simon Says" with it's megaphone vocal being a case in point. The latter would have sounded better with King's X singer Doug Pinnick on vocals
"Giant" has more than a shade of Bowie's "Scary Monsters" period while "Vicodin" is the sort of atmospheric instrumental that I was hoping to hear in greater abundance. The later tracks are more electronica than rock, but the album closer "Bad Luck Go Away" is a classy guitar instrumental that features melodic playing and highlights what's missing for most of the preceding 40 or so minutes.
These players went on to record the two "Uncle Moe" albums subsequently but they're both in such demand as teachers, or session heads or engineers (in Helmerich's case) that neither is that prolific in terms of regular record releases. Read more ›
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