I Think I'll Just Stay Home

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Perhaps the name Errol Antzis wasn't rock & roll enough for this guitarist who goes under the somewhat misleading moniker of Psychoteria. Regardless, on his third release he's pretty much a one-man band, with the help of overdubs, accompanying himself on bass, drums, keyboards, and lots and lots of guitars. He's a collector of unusual styles and models of six-string (and more) gear and he displays a dozen of his unusual instruments on this CD's back cover and the disc itself. Musically, this is pop/rock with jazz and prog overtones, creatively constructed by Antzis and best appreciated with headphones to better delineate the various guitar parts he clearly toiled over. Unlike some shredders, though, he's more concerned with songcraft and how his guitars can be layered to bring out the best in his original tunes. While the handful of instrumentals showcase his technical abilities, Antzis has a firm grasp on constructing songs around his rather ordinary (at best) voice. Despite the predominantly solo approach, the appearance of Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman on half the tracks is a real coup. Akkerman's enormous talents have not been given their due, especially after the dissolution of the original Focus back in the '70s, even though he has released albums sporadically during that time, but he burns up the frets on tight, succinct solos tacked onto these tunes. The material is self-written except for a short, sweet, and somewhat unnecessary cover of the Beatles' "It's Only Love," which seems to be an excuse for showcasing Antzis' electric sitar. Lyrics are by turns crafty ("I'm a loner who hates to be alone") and easygoing, but there are times that Antzis' vocal limitations nearly derail the material. There is a certain charm to that, but a guest singer with better range might have helped the cause. Still, this is a well-recorded, classy set that combines good songs with great playing and shows Antzis to be a major talent regardless of what name he goes by.

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