The first of three instrumental releases for specialty label Shrapnel Records, Darren Housholder's self-titled debut reveals the guitarist's considerable musical skills. Released in 1992, this record displays the instrumentalist's awesome talent for soloing, if not much else. Not much more than a showcase for Housholder's soloing, the material is void of rhythmic interplay and melodic invention. Drummer Ray Lozier's and Bassist Andre Berry's solid performances are overshadowed by the constant guitar attack; but considering that every Shrapnel release of this era was basically a showcase for young guitarists, the lack of a group dynamic is to be expected. Like other thousand-notes-per-second guitar heroes in waiting, when the Los Angeles area guitarist tries to demonstrate some musical diversity -- especially during failed attempts at syncopated funk riffing -- his playing sounds forced. When Housholder sticks to the commercial metal chordings and solo flurries, his flashy guitar acrobatics power highlight tracks like "Cakewalk" and "Stand Yer Ground." Even with it's rough spots, Darren Housholder reveals the Los Angeles musician as an accomplished guitar talent.
AllMusic Review by Vincent Jeffries