The current David Bowie guitarist invites his boss, Robert Smith (the Cure), Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Martha Davis (Motels), and Royston Langdon (Spacehog) to party with him, but it’s Slick’s stunning licks that will keep you spinning this marvelously guitar-rific release. Sanctuary. —MM Pelican
This “instro-metal” offering dishes up ultra-distorted double-wide guitar grind in mostly major-flavored modalities. Think slowed-down Tony Iommi with dashes of Sonic Youth and Neurosis. Hydra Head. —BC The Beatles, Let It Be…Naked. Wondrous, magical documents of a few moments when four lads tried to forget all the weirdness and decay surrounding them, and just sat down to play some brilliant music. Proof once again that it’s talent, soul, and vision that makes for great records, not 128 digital tracks and scores of overdubs. Be humbled. Apple. —MM The Allman Brothers Band
Live at the Atlanta International Pop Festival: July 3 &5, 1970
Recorded only months before the epic At the Fillmore, this two-disc set documents the evolution of rock’s quintessential jam band. Brother Duane rips on greasy slide, Dickey Betts boasts a big, creamy tone, and the rhythm section is unusually funky. Sony. —AE John Frusciante, Shadows Collide with People. The guitarist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers goes solo in a big way with this sprawling, creative masterwork of cool sounds, weird noises, and memorable songs. Warner Brothers. —MM The Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Calling. Despite having a wacky name that might suggest they helped save a cute little cartoon fish in Finding Nemo, this hard-hitting prog posse—featuring ripping lead guitarist Jimmy Herring—was popular for its slamming, oops-upside-your-head funk fusion. This, the band’s final studio album, is full of huge grooves and solos, but, alas, lacks the colorful personality of the group’s former leader, Col. Bruce Hampton. Inio. —JG The Shins, Chutes too Narrow. The slump-free sophomore effort from these Albuquerque rockers proves that they are well-poised for indie-pop world domination. From jangly, to folky, to just plain poppy, the Shins deserve all the buzz they’ve gotten. And this is only album number two! Their future is bright. Sub Pop. —EF
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