|Steve Senes - 'dE-eVolution oF thEorY' (Demolition/DR2 Records)|
|Written by Andy P|
|Friday, 10 December 2010 05:00|
Steve Senes has been playing guitar since late 1985 and was winner of Guitar Player's 'Guitar Superstar' competition in 2009 and with ringing paraphrased endorsements from Steve Lukather, Earl Slick, Jennifer Batten adorning his website. We seem to have another bone fide contender in the guitar instrumental ring.
Opening the album in high gear we have 'The Swami' with its intro of percussive Indian-like tapping and 'Greaseball' a nod to Whitesnake's 'Still of the Night' riff me-thinks with a Satriani like lead. Track three is 'Ruth' an acoustic piece with harmonised guitars sort of UFOish, there's something also country rock or Boston like about it. Then we're back up in gear for 'Highball' which has a very cool and intriguing intro almost like a Robert Fripp lick but alas it doesn't expand on that motif and we're off into overly familiar fast paced boogie territory, which has become as synonymous for the guitar instrumental album as 12 bar is to a bluesman.
'Cop Show' begins with sirens wailing and some Francis Dunnery like tapping. The piece tips its hat toward 70s funk, which I've got no problem with, this could sound intriguing, but it just doesn't. Somehow the groove just isn't there, the horns are not laid back, the drums and clavier are too bang on and nothing really sits in the pocket of those 70s flared jeans.
'Facecheck' and 'High & Mighty' are followed by the eastern sounding 'Colossus' which has some nice syncopation between the 1:22 - 1:43 mark. An acoustic guitar lays the foundation for 'Angel' in a kinda UFO Michael Schenker way, overlaid with harmonised guitars, but overall a bit choral and folky for my taste. I do like the feel and sound of the opening few lo-fi notes to 'Jam Bomb' but then it gets all bombastic and well......speedy for speed's sake.
'Mare Tranquillitis' has a reggae skank rhythm and sounds like limp 80s era Clapton. Lastly 'The Afterglow' is a piece with clean shimmering chords that ultimately lead nowhere, every time it sounds like there's going to be a melodic thread to the chordal playing it vanishes more like The Afterthought. Production wise the acoustic guitars on the album lack warmth and on certain tracks I'm hearing a touch of possible digital clipping especially in the left speaker.
I hear a lot of influences in Steve Senes' playing, guitarists like Vinnie Moore, Michael Schenker, Steve Morse, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Gary Moore and there's no doubt the dude can play but overall the tracks just lack a certain je ne sais quoi. They don't quite gel melodically or groove-wise, which may indicate the need for a collaboration with other musicians on the next outing.