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Stevens, Steve: Memory Crash

Boy, has it been a long time since Atomic Playboys or what? Well, guitar hero Steve Stevens is back with his new solo album Memory Crash, a ten song collection of mostly instrumental guitar songs, as the super shredder shows that he still has plenty of dazzling fretwork left in his system after years spent working with Billy Idol, Bozzio Leven Stevens, Todd Rundgren, and many others. There's no question that Steve has long been one of our most underrated guitar talents, a player who, along with Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, and Steve Vai, is capable of conjuring up just about any noise out his guitar that you can possibly imagine, and he's also a master technician as well as a supremely melodic musician. There's a lot of everything here on Memory Crash, from the insane noise/shred workings littering the title track, to the gorgeous flamenco picking heard on "Water On Ares". Fans of Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop period might notice a similar vibe going on through much of Memory Crash, a mix of commanding chops, melody, and stark beauty, all of it upbeat and accessible. Well travelled drum veteran Brian Tichy mans the kit here, but otherwise it's Stevens handling all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts, save for the guest appearance on vocals and bass by Kings X Dug Pinnick on the scorching cover of Robin Trower's "Day Of the Eagle".

Stevens' variety of tones and sounds throughout Memory Crash is quite remarkable, his searing metal licks on "Small Arms Fire" bite through the mix, and his funky wah-wah lines on "Cherry Vanilla" bring to mind classic sounds that we came to expect from masters like Hendrix, Trower, and Marino. His love for Jeff Beck can be heard on the fusiony rocker "Prime Mover" (complete with insane whammy bar noises and scorching slide guitar), and "Josephine" is pure prog rock, with tasty acoustic & electric guitar solos, beds of keyboards, and tricky rhythms. If you appreciate exemplary guitar music, it will be hard not to fall in love with this latest from Steve Stevens. In a time where instrumental guitar releases are a dime a dozen, Stevens' has put together something that stands out head and shoulders above the rest, a CD with tons of memorable melodies and plenty of scary chops. Let's hope that Magna Carta keeps on top of him and we don't have to wait too many years for another one.

Track Listing
1 Heavy Horizon
2 Hellcats Take the Highway
3 Memory Crash
4 Water on Ares
5 Day of the Eagle
6 Small Arms Fire
7 Cherry Vanilla
8 Joshua Light Show
9 Prime Mover
10 Josephine

Added: March 9th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Steve Stevens Website
Hits: 2916
Language: english

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