The 1980s were littered with six-string shredders who pushed the instrument to the max in the realm of hard rock/heavy metal. But Johnny Thunders look-alike Steve Stevens (who gained great success and acclaim as the guitarist in Billy Idol's band) was the king six-stringer of the pop genre. And while he had reunited with Idol during the early 21st century, Stevens also managed to continue issuing solo albums on his own, as evidenced by the 2008 release Memory Crash. The mostly instrumental album certainly showcases Stevens' instrumental prowess, but also touches upon styles not usually associated with this mile-high-haired guitarist, including his love of vintage prog rock (namely, Yes). And there are flashes of Yes-like déjà vu, such as the Steve Howe-esque acoustic guitar included on the track "Prime Mover" (before leading into a carbon copy groove of Billy Cobham's "Stratus," off his classic 1973 release Spectrum). Elsewhere, you'll find a tune that would make Joe Satriani proud, "Hellcats Take the Highway," a kickass cover of Robin Trower's "Day of the Eagle" (which features a cameo by Doug Pinnick of King's X on vocals), and an album-closing acoustic ballad/love song, "Josephine." While he may not have racked up the amount of guitar magazine front covers as Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen in the big '80s, Steve Stevens could certainly keep pace with the rest of the pack in the solo department. And this is proven once and for all with Memory Crash.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato