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“The ever-present dangers that threaten the...”

Written on: 29/08/2006 by jfderry (208 reviews written)

The ever-present dangers that threaten the single-handed soloist/programmer is that it is too easy to be like a one man band jam session, the personal sympathies behind the music are too difficult to communicate to the target audience and the sound can be overtly clinical, manicured down to the last minum. Thankfully most of the obvious pitfalls are avoided on Aberration State's The Day Of Rust, but the production fails to rise above freezing point because tricks of the trade that can import "band dynamic" are noticeable by their absence.

While the album has its moments, it is not the Mahavishnu / Coltrane vision intended. Rather, on this schizophrenic album, I sometimes hear more of a cross between Pink Floyd and any random drum'n'bass outfit, but mainly it sounds like a testosterone-fuelled tribute to Frank Zappa. Moody and sincere synthetic layers do provide guitarist Dave Eddy with a broad stage on which to flex his fingers and strutt his stuff, but the solo noodling doesn't help to lift these instrumentals very far from the ground. The best bits can be found as introspective blues-based intros and outros on some tracks and do not include the generic rock stuffing that highlights too plainly that this is an album project by a guitarist who has not spent enough energy bonding with the rest of his virtual band.

That's not to say that there isn't any worthwhile matertial here. Zappa fans who listen to Guitar for fun will enjoy the soaring feedback akin to Sexual Harrassment In The Workplace and Santana-like sustained phrase endings. There's also an excitingly complex backbeat working of slide guitar with variable tempos and a diverse enough mixture of influences on offer to even include a couple of Indo-fusion tracks, one that rambles without direction and another with a more catchy funk that provides some access for the listener. But we're mainly talking about well executed anaemic guitar-meanderings cranked up reverb and distortion and "Uncle Frank"-like solos without his imagination and without the support of his excellent touring band.

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