As a long time fan of Steve Stevens’ playing, I was tremendously excited when I heard of a new solo record. After a first listen, I was not disappointed. The guitar playing is incredibly virtuostic, delving into flamenco, blues, solid riffs, and experimental “sound efx”, as usual. The speed and sheer precision of the playing is mind-bending. The songwriting and melodic structure is exciting, and occaisionally pushes the envelope. It may not be as adventurous as Steve Vai or Mike Keneally, but is definately moreso that Satriani. I am not a fan of the blues, and was a little disappointed when the songwriting occaisionally went down this road. (The Blues are just too repetitive for my tastes.) But despite the form, even these songs leapt out of their standard nature at the fingertips or Mr. Stevens. Any fan of “Black Light Syndrome” will enjoy this record.
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Steve Stevens has a habit of releasing great guitar rock albums – Atomic Playboys, Vince Neil’s Exposed. Everyhting he’s played on gets the same great treatment (like Robert Palmers You’re Amazing).
There’s some great guitar on this. Not as techie as Vai or Satriani but solid nonetheless.
Do yourself a favour and get this…
I was a bit … disappointed with Steve’s work on Billy Idol’s DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. I mean, it was good and solid, but it was much different from his previous work with Billy. It was earthier, and a bit more traditional than what I’m used to hearing from him. What I like about Steve’s work is that it always sounds FUTURISTIC, at least to my ears. Not so with DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND. It was a mistake that Steve didn’t get to co-write the whole album with Billy, and I’m sure it was because of Billy. At least, that’s the impression I get. And as such, it doesn’t scale the heights of REBEL YELL and WHIPLASH SMILE.
Not so with Steve’s new studio album MEMORY CRASH. This is the Steve we all know and love… great guitar playing, inventive creativeness, and a tour de force of various styles which unmistakably create the du jour that is Steve Stevens. There is some great shredding on this, but only when it’s necessary for the songs. Through and through, it’s a songwriter’s release… with great SONGS that are made better with the guitar playing. There are many classic moments on it… none as awesome as the fantastic intro to CHERRY VANILLA: “You just gotta play a stone groove.” With that, he grooves the listeners to heaven… with a fantastic song. That’s another thing. So many of the songs on this have great GROOVE… they make you want to move. Most guitar instrumental albums are boring… not this one. Steve uses different guitars, and sounds to create awesome textures. PRIME MOVER has some parts that reminds me of U2’s “bullet the blue sky”… only on the slide guitar riff. But Edge could only dream of shredding like Steve does on this bad boy. And when the raygun makes an awesome return toward the end of the song… it’s nuclear. I have to rewind it every time ’cause I love it so much. dUg Pinnick’s vocals on “day of the eagle” are fantastic… a great job by a gifted singer. The only other vocal song is “josephine”, where Steve does the vocals. He has a great voice too, which is skillfully hidden with effects processing. The song is heartfelt, and has great writing.
I don’t know if Steve had offered any of these gems to Billy, but if Billy turned them down… then he made a mistake. Any of them could have been turned into fantastic vocal songs.
I can only hope that Steve will do a full album someday handling all the vocals. I loved his vocals on his first solo album, and have no doubt he could pull it off.
I highly recommend MEMORY CRASH. It’s eclectic.. goes through different styles.. but is threaded by the awesome songwriting and guitar playing of guitar hero Steve Stevens… a futuristic sounding musician in full control of his talent and creativity.
This is a good CD. At first it seemed a little dated: it reminded me of the early 90’s rock guitar instrumental releases, byt Satriani and others. But Stevens’ originality permeate the music. Some quick thoughts on the songs:
1 Heavy Horizon – reminds me of Queen’s Brian May. Perhaps some Steve Vai also.
2 Hellcats Take The Highway – reminds me a bit of Joe Satriani. Fast tempo.
3 Memory Crash – cool riff. Melodic. Great use of a whammy pedal. Cool Extreme-like part (@ 2:20). Pulls out all the stops. Hammer-on arpeggio ending.
4 Water on Ares – An acoustic beauty. Cool spacey effect-driven solo on electric. Good bass part. Classic guitar solo.
5 Day of the Eagle – Cover song. reminds me of Eric Gales Band. King’s X’s Doug Pinnick plays bass and sings. A bit Jimi Hendrix-like. Strange time signature.
6 Small Arms Fire – Flamenco beginning. Heavy rock riff. Pure Steve Stevens. All stops unplugged! Good bass playing. Lots of changes.
7 Cherry Vanilla – Long song. reminds me again of Eric Gales. Groovin’ rock. Cool riff. Good bass playing. Cool soloing.
8 Joshua Light Show – A two-minute ode to Robert Fripp.
9 Prime Mover – Flamenco beginning. Pink Floydish feel (One of These Days). Some Gilmourish slide soloing, but mostly Stevens. Whammy pedal use. Wah wah. Slide. Spacegun effect. The cat is out of the bag.
10 Josephine – Acoustic guitar and bass driven. Stevens sings, and does so just fine. Cool bass part. I imagine riding in a car on a sunny day on a desert highway. But then it gets complicated. Then back to acoustic.
Other stuff I’d recommend: Steve Steven’s “Flamenco-a-go-go,” Bozzio Levin Stevens “Situation Dangerous” and “Black Light Syndrome” (for his more experimental stuff), and Vince Neal’s “Exposed.”
Holy Smokes! This CD is awesome. Buy it! It has been 2 days and I have the CD in my car and the entire album on my iPod. The more I listen the more I hear and like! It is great to get a new piece of music and get really pulled into it!
I bought this CD in a store on Tuesday (3/4/2008) the release date and got the last, perhaps, only copy. I have been listening to it constantly ever since.
Steve Stevens is one incredible guitarist! When I listed to this CD I hear flashbacks to Hendrix, Terry Kath, Robin Trower, Jeff Beck, Steve Howe, and maybe a bit of Jimmy Page. Right now I really like Cherry Vanilla, Hellcats, Memory Crash, and Water on Ares. The CD is mostly instrumental however Dug Pinnick sings Robin Trower’s Day of the Eagle.
Steve’s last effort Flamenco a go-go is one of my favorites. I have both the CD and DTS/DVD Audio version, Steve -any chance of Memory Crash being released in a surround format?