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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Guy

Only Human

Review by Gary Hill

“The Guy” is “Christopher Shreiner. He’s joined on this CD by David Livolsi on bass, Tyger MacNeal on drums and Chris Coogan on keyboards (on two tracks). Shreiner is a fret board master and handles all the guitar work on the disc. This is instrumental fusion and as fusion fits pretty well into the progressive rock category of Music Street Journal. While purely instrumental albums can certainly become boring this one doesn’t even come close to that. It’s a killer disc from a talented man – or should I say, “guy?”

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro
This bit is only a nudge over one minute and length. And about the first ten seconds of that are just ambient textures. Acoustic guitar in dramatic patterns (but very sedate and pretty) makes up the remainder of the track.
Icarus
Again a bit tentative in nature, this is more traditional fusion as it rises up. It’s very much guitar dominated and the early motifs remind me at times of Steve Howe, but I also hear Joe Satriani and Steve Vai in this. As it turns more energized those two links are all the more evident. It gets pretty involved further down the road.
An Interlude In Ble├║
The rhythm section leads things off here. This has a more open feeling to it and seems mellower than the one that preceded it. As this is built ever upward it turns quite crunchy and rather noisy. They move it out into a bouncy little bit later that somehow reminds me a bit of Frank Zappa. It eventually moves out to something more akin to the main song structure.
Zebra Club
The most tentative intro of all leads into one of the most rocking tracks on the whole disc. Again the comparisons to Vai and Satriani are warranted. This is quite a cool track and has some soaring guitar work. I’d say that this might be my favorite on show here. It becomes quite the rock oriented piece later.

Youngblood
Starting bluesy, this is a hard rocker. It is certainly crunchier and more energized than anything else here. It’s also a definite highlight.  They turn this later into a total Hendrix inspired workout. It’s a real smoker.

Syeeda's Song Flute
A cover of a John Coltrane composition, this starts with a frantic drum solo. Bass joins after a short time, at first in a here and gone again way. Then a rather funky guitar joins and this shifts out to a slower paced jam. They fire out mid track to a more fiery motif for a rocking section. This gives way to a reprise of the previous modes and they alternate between these stylings with a killer (albeit short) bass solo at one point serving as an alteration.
Her Hypnotic Heart
Rhythmic structures and atmospheric tones work together to create a mellower fusion motif for the opening to this cut. They carry on with this styling as they build ever so gradually upon it. Further down the road this moves out into a slow moving jam that reminds me quite a bit of some of David Gilmour’s work.

Something Beautiful
This is mellow and melodic and quite pretty. It’s a satisfying way to close the disc.
 
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