“Corona Dark Special”
Sometimes, imperfection can still be arresting. On this track, Rick Danner could benefit from less obvious Santana-isms, a snappier intro and outro, and ending the tune before the solo meanders, but his sexy bends, creamy sustain, and occasionally stunning melodic lines make for an enjoyable sojourn.
“The Blue Hour”
Aptly named, “The Blue Hour” is a beautifully sad piece that burns real slow and offers no release. Knudsen’s plaintive phrasing, sparse melodies, and haunting volume swells keep the emotions bottled up until you’re practically begging for a crescendo, but that’s the genius of this cinematically brilliant track.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
“Reefer” sounds a bit more LSD to me, but everyone has a right to name their own trip I guess, and Ingrey’s is quite a psychedelic journey. Buzzy, stabbing melody shards, a percolating groove, madcap noises, splashes of distorted rhythm guitars, and some spooky tremolo make this an excellent soundtrack for mental levitation.
“Omelette on Fire”
Bell is a spry 18 year old, but this track illustrates the importance of stamina. Between 0:00 and 1:40, “Omelette” uncorks a classical-style intro, a nice melody, some shreddy bits, and a cool harmony line. Bravo! After that, the bends and tuning get sloppy, and the song starts to cave in. A little more “muscle” would’ve made this a stunner.
Binghamton, New York
Tauterouff does everything right on this rather conventional, yet buoyant and melodic instrumental. His tone is fat and present, he makes judicious use of harmony lines to keep things interesting, and he holds back on the jamming until the end. It’s a nice lesson in restraint, and it’s also tasty as hell.
Bobby Cadmus Band
Cadmus attacks this track with energy and almost “off-the-rails” abandon, as well as some spicy bends that cut across the groove. It’s pretty exciting stuff, with a lot of slinky moves, note flurries, Southern-rock-influenced riffery, and a guitar tone that’s drenched in the aura of ’70s arena rock.
Las Vegas, Nevada
“Sexton Demo 1”
Marossy is an experimental guitarist enlisted by another MySpace musician, Steve Sexton, for a project. The intro has some gorgeous EBow lines, and then things get messy. Some parts are fabulous, and others are pretty hard to take, but there are enough ideas bouncing around to merit a listen.
This is the pick that most everyone will hate, but I dig the bizarre culture clash of young Finns channeling psychedelic-era Beatles, and ending up as a Scandinavian version of the Lightning Seeds. The guitar-lite instrumentation is appropriately spacey—check out the wah spittle buried in the mix—and the track is a feel-good riot.