Steve Morse is a versatile and talented multi – instrumental artist who has played music in many different genres, including rock, country, funk, jazz, classical and fusion. Morse, a five – time Grammy nominee, is also a founding member of the Dixie Dregs, as well as a member of both Kansas and Deep Purple. Steve worked with Jimmy Barnes on his Living Loud and its accompanying DVD, Live in Sydney.
This album kicks off with more of a rock n' roll sound than what we heard on Steve's solo album High Tension Wires. The brilliant electric guitar picking is out of this world. "Flat Baroque" is my favorite highlight off this mostly rock oriented instrumental album. This is Metal Mind Production's digipack reissue of the original 1992 CD release.
Ripping guitars and drums open "User Friendly", and the album, as we blast off the mark fast. A 'Rush – like' guitar ride complete with cool synths and keys to rock the album off the launch pad. The cool bass playing in the middle gives the band a breather.
"Collateral Damage" takes off with the same speed, except this time the bass plays a more prominent role in creating the sound on this song. That heavy bass is definitely 'Geddy Lee - like'. The drums are right in synch with the rhythm. The guitar picking and jamming is just stellar. The cymbals and percussion close the song out brilliantly.
"Get it in Writing" opens with regal keys and bass supported by drums. The lead electrics join in and the melody and rhythm begin to build well.
Sounds from recorded live radio newscast open "Morning Rush Hour", before the bass, electric leads, keys and drums take off on another speed jam. Steve's rush hour must move faster than most people because this track just rips down the road. Very cool electric guitar jams and riffs fill the air on this song.
With a title like, "Runaway Train", a listener has certain expectations. This one has a country beat similar to Led Zeppelin's Hot Dog. The heavy bass and intricately, but swiftly played electric guitar chords just roll off the fingers on this song. That heavy bass and drums set such a good beat.
Piano – like organ keys open "Long Lost", slowly for a change of pace. The lead electric guitar work is solid, delivering more good riffs and chords.
"The Z" opens like an '80s guitar and keyboard driven song. The blistering guitar solos bring back memories of Eddie Van Halen's work in the 1980s.
"Over Easy" starts with a jazzy bass and keys opening. Very good drum work to support the heavy bass and grinding guitars. The bass is a stand out on this song as it provides the groove. It is well intermingled with the launching lead electric.
Drums and bass open "Cabin Fever" effectively. I hear more of that Rush influence again at the beginning. The heavy bass and electrics come and go as the blasting drums keep perfect pace.
"Flat Baroque" is easily the best song on the album. The brilliant acoustic guitar work shines through all the other tracks on this album. Those familiar baroque melodies are just wonderful to hear again, with some original work mixed in.
1. User Friendly (3:42)
2. Collateral Damage (3:54)
3. Get it in Writing (3:51)
4. Morning Rush Hour (3:29)
5. Runaway Train (3:05)
6. Long Lost (3:35)
7. The Oz (3:19)
8. Over Easy (5:15)
9. Cabin Fever (3:49)
10. Flat Baroque (2:23)