On Music For Speeding, Marty Friedman's fifth solo album, the ex-Megadeth guitarist trashes thrash, opting instead for an aural assault that's as melodic as it is aggressive. Such cock-rock shredders as opener "Gimme A Dose" and "Salt in the Wound" are laced with testosterone, while "Ripped" accentuates Friedman's heavier and lighter playing styles by alternating loud and soft passages. Chunky riffs pulse over a flowing solo on "It's the Unreal Thing," and the aptly titled "Lust For Life" leaps with high-flying, feel-good fretwork. On "Cheer Girl Rampage," Friedman allows Brian Becvar's keyboard flourishes to dominate the first half of the song. Later, electronica effects bubble over on "Nastymachine," "Catfight" is rife with bizarre sound bites and instrumentation, and "Lovesorrow" may be the most emotional piece Friedman has ever recorded.
Backed by a four-piece band (including two bassists and with extra players brought in on some tracks for programming, "synthistration" and a touch of flamenco guitar), Friedman wrote and produced all 13 of these songs, wisely using his colleagues to the music's advantage – not to his. The result is a well-rounded and inventive instrumental record that's a joy to experience. And perhaps best of all, you'll rarely expect to hear Dave Mustaine's voice interrupt the proceedings.