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Cichon, Steve: Cranial Feedback

Well, this is a strange one! An album by a solo artist that is a true solo album: Steve Cichon wrote, played everything, produced and mastered the album himself quite a feat, you'll have to agree! Not only that, he has made it sound like a band live in concert, down to fine details like the crowd cheering after solos! I have to say, it had me fooled to start, although I was very puzzled as to how, in this day and age, a band playing such totally instrumental, guitar-led rock fusion could draw such a large crowd that was the giveaway lie! It just won't happen, sad to say.

Yes, it is sad to think that this kind of music will struggle to find the large audience that Steve clearly hankers after, but these are the days, there's no escaping it. And, to be fair, 50 minutes of instrumental guitar fusion was always difficult to sell, in any age. Take any 10 or 15 minute segment from this album and I doubt if there are many readers of this site who would not enjoy what they hear: the guitar playing is fluid, rocky and rhythmic. The electric guitar is clearly the King here but Steve adds different textures to each track to maintain interest; for instance: acoustic guitar on "Crystal Mix", vibes on "Siren", trumpet on "Headrush".

Whilst these textural distractions maintain interest up to a point, the music is too often about the guitar technobratics rather than musicality and, over the course of the album, one tires of the display. Other factors contribute, such as the drumming, which is not a highlight!

If you are very interested in guitar techniques and different playing styles, then it may be worth checking out the album but, as a whole album, this is unlikely to appeal to most conventional fans.

Track Listing:-
1) Ricochet (4:52)
2) Crystal Clear (4:11)
3) Siren (5:10)
4) Panacea (4:31)
5) Headrush (4:48)
6) A Great Escape (4:52)
7) Sedated (4:13)
8) Northern Lights (5:50)
9) Kung Pao (6:40)
10) Backlash (4:29)

Added: May 21st 2010
Reviewer: Alex Torres
Related Link: Steve's MySpace
Hits: 1891
Language: english

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