GUITAR PLAYER INVITES all D.I.Y. artists and bands to share their guitar skills with our reader community. This opportunity is open to any player/band with a Web site or MySpace page that has their music posted. All you have to do is go to myspace.com/guitarplayermag, add the magazine as a friend, and invite “Editor Boy” to your music space. If you’re not on MySpace, simply send an invite to mmolenda@musicplayer .com. I’ll check out your tracks and determine whether you get coverage in this column. Tracks are evaluated for creativity, composition, guitar chops, and audio-production quality— or you may make the cut simply because your track is surprising, interesting, or brilliantly awful. Good luck!
Claudius Jelinek Wien, Austria “After You’re Gone”
Jelinek’s gypsy-jazz workout starts out acoustic, and then switches to electric, blending single-note and octave runs, as well as the requisite cascade of rapid picking. It’s an enjoyable little romp—although Jelinek suffers a few slight clams and seeming moments of indecision during the performance.
Guy Onraet Cape Town, South Africa “Gunslinger”
Some pretty melodic shredding is set up by a glistening arpeggio line that gives way to heavy, distorted rhythm chunking. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a mood killer when the chunking doesn’t lock into the groove. Oh well, maybe it’s some superslick, playing-sideways-off-the-one version of 22nd-century jazz.
Stephen St. Pierre Greencastle, Indiana “Cowboy For a Night”
Sounding like a more country-washed version of a Blasters B-side, St. Pierre’s jivin’ blues tune is predictable, but his voice is pleasing, and his sparse soloing is right in the pocket—nice tone, too. The track won’t drop any jaws, but I dare ya to keep your foot from tapping.
Scranton Hayward, California “I Don’t Want You”
Guitarist Margaret Scranton has a delightfully snotty tone and she really knows how to dig into a riff until it dances into your brain. Her short solo at 1:40 cuts into the mix with a soaring bend, says its piece, and then shuts up. Nothing in excess, here—bravo!
Tony Harlan Pennsylvania “Hammer”
Harlan’s penchant for creepy, horror-movie sonics, mile-high bends, and unexpected melodic breaks “Hammer” out of the mold of a typical shredfest. In fact, it’s his arrangement sensibility and production values that are the real treats, here—almost as exciting as his pounding riffs and rapid-fire fingers.
Full on Dementia Pasadena, Texas “Quit Playin’ Around on Top”
You wouldn’t think this is serious, looking-for-a-label-deal music from the band name and the obvious Hendrix influence, and it’s not. But it sure is a helluva blast to listen to—kind of like those crazy, not-quite-there opening bands in the ’70s— and “Ram Rod” plays some hot-ass guitar.
Val Halla (a.k.a. Valerie McLeod) Regina, Vancouver “The Bad Girl Touch”
This 25-year old “Carmen Electra meets Marilyn Monroe” and her super-tight band nail a hard-boogying riff to the floor, while Halla’s seductive singing and coy lyrics, coupled with her explosive octave bends and Gibbons-inspired solo licks, slam her perky pop palms-up against the ceiling.
Greg Allen Ada, Oklahoma “Oblivion (Bounce Mix)”
On this 10:11 “ambient-experimental” track Allen lays down pastoral, filter-swept chords accompanied by a cheesy but cool old-school drum sequence, then overlays sustained, ring-modded, hyper-flanged, and delayed melodies, before shifting into a brooding mood with pretty clean noodling followed by the obligatory overdriven solo. He should have stopped at 4:20.