Album Reviews

Shouse – Alone On The Sun

Released By : Spektrum Music

Genre : Instrumental Hard Rock

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Tracklist :

1. Bionic

2. Man Of Constant Sorrow

3. The Arabian

4. Choices

5. Alone On The Sun

6. Shock And Awe

7. You Can Fly

8. Dead In Memphis

9. Don’t Remember Me

10. For Alex

Instrumental shred guitar albums are a lot rarer these days than they used to be and for good reason. At one point in time you couldn’t blink without seeing another shred album and eventually they all began to make each other irrelevant. 2010 is a good time to bring out an album such as this because as hard rock and heavy metal are going through somewhat of a commercial resurrection, shred guitar is all of a sudden back in fashion.

Mike Shouse has been playing in and out of bands of varying degrees of success for the past twenty years, and has only now decided to create and release something entirely his own. His obvious influences are clear enough, with ALONE ON THE SUN sending obvious cheerios to guys such as Joe Satriani,  Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Pettruci and even Carlos Santana. There are obviously other musicians who have inspired elements of this album but those guys are the easiest to hear without trying too hard. There are a couple of little things on offer here to break up the monotony that these type of albums are usually criticized for, especially in the sci-fi influenced

Intro that really helps give the album some reason, also there are two songs that feature vocals contributed by Gene Booth, who I must admit is someone I have never heard of. Another point of interest novelty wise is the fact that three different drummers and eight different bass guitarists where hired for the sessions and all swapped around to ensure that no two songs on the album feature the same three musicians. I’m not sure whether this makes that much difference, but I’m sure it would have been a lot of fun in the studio.

As far as shred guitar albums go there really isn’t much to say other that most of the music here is done quite well if not a little robotic in nature at times. No doubt Shouse is a spectacular guitarist that is probably only a small bit behind the giants of the shred genre, but the actual songwriting is occasionally lacking and it does feel that technical ability was rated higher than song structure at times during the writing period. The more enjoyable aspects of the album are actually the occasional times that the foot comes off the pedal a little bit for some jazz or flamenco inspired guitar pieces, but that’s not to say that the shred assault isn’t welcome, as it most definitely is.

If you aren’t a fan of technical guitar showcase albums, ALONE ON THE SUN will certainly not change your mind and should be skipped, but for any budding guitarist out there, or any fans of Vai and Satriani, this album will certainly tickle your tastebuds and is easily worth the admission price.

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 7/10

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