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Harvey Mandel

Snake Attack

Review by Gary Hill
Harvey Mandel might be a world renowned guitarist, but that's not a definition in terms of limitations. Indeed, he plays everything on this instrumental album. The music has a pretty wide range, but lands closest overall to fusion. We always put fusion under prog. All in all, this is a diverse and entertaining set with some great guitar work.
 
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Snake Attack
This feels like something Kraftwerk might do. It's very electronic. It's also very classy. There is a real middle-Eastern element to it. It has some neo-classical elements at play, too.
Packin'
There is a lot of funk and fusion built into this number. It is energized. It's also quite classy.  I dig the drumming on this a lot.
Freak of Dawn
Now, this is more like what you might expect based on the CD cover. There is some pretty amazing guitar playing here. Still, the cut is more of a prog rock thing than metal. It just happens to have some killer guitar sound built into it.
A Luscious Life
This more of a mellow, prog rock styled piece. It's melodic and very pretty. It has some nice guitar soloing, but it's about melody more than it is about flash. 
Sinister
With a killer groove, there is some electronic music here. Overall, though, it's more like something Joe Satriani or Steve Vai would do. 
Criminal Intent
Here we have a slower moving, mellower cut. It's very much a jazz styled thing. It does have an electronic edge to it. 
Super Squid
Fast paced fusion is the order of business here. There is a drop back at the end that lowers the volume, but not the intensity. It fades from there. 
Exotic Predator
While this has a meaty kind of rocking soulful vibe, there are plenty of prog, and even some classical, elements here. There are things here that make me think of King Crimson a bit.
Body Beast
If there is a song here that's not prog, this is it. Still, it does have some definite fusion at play. It is a meaty guitar rocker that's quite cool.  There is a lot of body to this beast. 
Keeping the Faith
A bit noisier and more crazed, there is electronic music merging with fusion and more here. This is a meaty cut. I love the cool funky jam mid-track. The guitar solo that comes out of there is particularly inspired, too.
 
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