October 20, 2005

If you’re a sucker for the nuanced tonal colorings that only single-coils and a fulcrum trem can deliver, then Germany’s Marcus Deml—the second runner-up at GP’s recent Guitar Hero competition at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame—will win you over with nearly every track on this funky and, at times, surreal collection of riffs, timbres, and sound bites. Some of the album’s techno beats run the risk of sounding dated in a few years, but when it comes to coaxing magical sounds out of a Fender Stratocaster (or similar guitars), Deml has one of the surest pairs of hands this side of world-champion Strat charmer Jeff Beck. The siren-song bends that greet your ears on the album’s opening space raga (“The Way To...”) are painful only because they’re over way too soon—they hypnotize you so thoroughly that, when the end of the song hits suddenly at a mere 1:45, you feel as if you’ve been jarred awake from a blissful dream. But perhaps, as they say, it’s better to have known perfect bends and lost them than to have never known them at all. —Jude Gold

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