Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PAUL GILBERT: "I Can Destroy"

Rating: RRRR
Label: earMUSIC 2016
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Here's something that instantly caught my eye and attention. The shiny red sticker that reads and I quote: "Paul Gilbert's brand new hard rock masterpiece". Then again. They would not promote it any other way? Produced by Kevin Shirley (Dream Theater, Iron Maiden, Journey, etc.), the former Mr. Big and Racer X's fourth solo album sounds like a million bucks and I even tend to agree with some of the hype.

Right down to business. This is just one helluva neat hard rock album that pays major respect and tribute to Gilbert's influences without sounding like a poor copy-cat or second rate version. The one word I would use about this release is: timeless. It's got that sweet blues meet classic rock sound and massively fun riffing that just as easily could have been recorded in 1976, 1986, or well... perhaps not 1996. But surely 2006 and of course in present date. The production is spot on and Shirley's managed to combine as well as build a bridge between now and then.

Sure. A couple of tracks are perhaps a bit too obvious? The superb "One Woman Too Many" is the blues and the magical/mythical sound of Phil Lynnott (RIP). I'm not too keen on the rather boring blues of "Woman Stop" or the pointless bonus track, "Great White Buffalo", which by the way is the Ted Nugent song. All the others are originals though. Nah. I'm more into the straight ahead rock in the likes of "Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal", "I Can Destroy", "Knocking On a Locked Door", etc. Since they all dive into the great American Classic Rock history and the vast sea of Grand Funk's, Van Halen, Motormouth's, and Montrose.

The only downer? A couple too many slow blues tracks and not enough of the fun uptempo All-American Rock. Pay extra attention to the work of Thomas Lang as he literally kicks the crap outta his drums. The shiny red sticker isn't completely wrong though.

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