July 10, 2008
Jonesing for some state-of-the-art instrumental rock? Paul Gilbert delivers a massive dose of searing guitar playing on his latest release, which packs all the elements one expects from this master shredder: terrifying speed, great melodic hooks, and inspired performances from a band that includes Mike Szuter on bass, drummer Jeff Bowders, and Emi Gilbert on keyboards. Gilbert’s compositions are adventurous to say the least, and his band definitely earns its keep on such ridiculously over-the-top cuts as “Norwegian Cowbell,” “Bultaco Saturno,” and “The Gargoyle,” all of which are showcases of Gilbert’s amazing precision and burning tone. And when you ears need a break, “Suite Modale”—a lovely guitar and piano composition—and a graceful melodic treatment of the Elvis Costello/Burt Bacharach composition “I Still Have That Other Girl,” offer some welcome respite from the assault of warp-drive chops that dominate the landscape here.