Genres are funny things. According to the master database this is a metal album and, bearing in mind Mr Gilberts history with Racer X and Mr Big, so it should be but listening will tell anyone with ears to listen that he has stepped outside his ‘comfort zone’ and moved into realms of jazz fusion, Blues and even funk. He may be a shredder at heart but this is anything but shredding and all the better for it.
Right from the opening number ‘Enemies (In Jail)’ he is into jazz phrasing and there is a huge funk groove happening – the track feels almost like Zappa in his ‘Apostrophe’ period. The title track sees him in hard Blues territory, again with his support band of Emi Gilbert on keys, Kelly Lemieux on bass and drummer Thomas Lang laying down a furious groove.
The version of ‘Blue Rondo A La Turk’, the Brubeck classic is played almost straight and his guitar sits brilliantly just behind the piano line until he gets into a light and jazzy solo – I love this particular track and I was dreading their version but I works pretty well.
‘Bivalve Blues’ is a heavy Blues in the Robin Trower vein *rather than Hendrix) and he shows that he can wring emotion out of his axe as well as setting up a dark mood against the Hammond of Emi Gilbert.
The album contains eight new songs including four instrumentals and his vocals are OK if not great so the album doesn’t come over like a Satriani album does. He also includes three live numbers – all covers – from his 2010 album ‘Fuzz’ – Yes’s ‘Roundabout’, Muddy Waters ‘I Want To Be Loved’ are fine but his cover of AC/DC’s ‘Go Down’ is the standout – he can play rock after all!
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