Thursday, June 07, 2012

Record Review: Allan Holdsworth Metal Fatigue

Let me start off by saying Metal Fatigue sounds like the 80's.  It makes me think of playing pitfall! and going for an original new york seltzer.  Some will say it sounds dated to me it sounds like a musical time capsule.  This could be a deal breaker for some, I am just warning you up front.

OK we are dealing with jazz fusion here, this music is a little weird and not every ones cup of tea.  The guitar sound is not in your face shredding, instead its harmonic and tonal.  You have some traditional rocking, but for the most part its not, those sounds you hear are not keyboard but rather synth guitar.

Lets talk about the vocal pieces first.  There are three on the record.  Two are sung by Paul Williams and Mystery is sung by Paul Kourda.  Metal Fatigue is pretty solid, though the name may be a bit tricky there is no metal here.  There are some dissonant off kilter chords but not metal.  The lyrics are a bit grandiose but everything was in the eighties.  Its a solid song that works.  Panic Stations is awesome, great song with a BADASS Jimmy Johnson bass solo!  It's when you get to Mystery that I start to have a problem.  The vocal isn't bad the lyrics are fucking hoaky.  I have written better and I suck.  Its a good song it just is a bit goofy.  That sort of eighties mystery in the briefcase sort of pseudo sci fi stuff. 

I think most fans of Holdsworth are familiar with Devil Take the Hindmost.  Its pretty terrific, sick guitar work and solid composition.  I think Holdsworth has said he doesn't know what he was doing when listening to the original recording. 

I do have a bit of an issue with The Unmerry go round.  The bits of the song are good but they don't flow or fit well.  The beginning is very staccato the middle is passive and tonal.  The end does wrap up some of the themes but not as well as I would have liked.  It's just a little jumpy for me.

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