Joe Perry

Have Guitar Will Travel

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Based on the title alone, it's easy enough to think that Have Guitar, Will Travel is nothing but raging six-strings, but this record is wild in a whole different way: it's the sound of Joe Perry cutting loose in his home studio, trying anything that comes into his mind. Perry pulled this together in the summer of 2009 after his Aerosmith obligations fell apart, and Have Guitar reflects its quick creation, filled with loose ends and tossed-off rockers, and standing in direct contrast to Perry's overly mannered, highly polished 2005 album. This is under-produced, almost defiantly so, sometimes still bearing the echoes of the click tracks, other times sounding greasy and raw, but that raggedness is considerably charming, as it gives this a warmth that latter-day Aerosmith albums have often lacked. It's good to hear Perry tear it up again -- with any luck, he can bring some of this energy to the next 'Smith project, and if not, he can always head into his studio and cut another raver like this.

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