Jeremy Boyle

Songs from the Guitar Solos

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The title says it, the song titles spell it out. "Kiss," "Sabbath," "Zeppelin" -- Boyle takes bits from the axe-shredding, fret-bending ultimate gee-tar moments of six classic hard rock/metal bands all told and transforms them via heavy-duty production and treatment into haunting ambient music. Admittedly, given the utter unrecognizability of the originals after Boyle is done with them, the in-joke feeling is sometimes a bit much. The feeling that this album wouldn't have as strong a conceptual connection or (dare it be said) a marketing hook if Boyle had come up with the sounds himself runs high. That aside, Songs is a good release, of definite interest to anyone who enjoys the quieter side of Aphex Twin or such paragons of drony guitar serenity as Seefeel. Even the more unnerving numbers sound lighter in comparison to the likes of, say, Lull, but a track like "Van Halen," with a main buzz loop and soft, signaling chimes and whines rising and falling throughout its length, still has enough of a edge to dig in deep. "AC/DC," perhaps fittingly enough, is the most active of the songs, with a light rhythm loop sounding more like a hyper rhythm box than anything else carrying the track along its four minutes. The 12-minute "Sabbath" is the most successful of the tracks, using its length to stretch out accordingly. Soft echoing clangs and pulses deep down in the mix create a lovely sense of depth, while the more upfront drones are a near-total reversal from Black Sabbath's own sound, calm in its gentle creepiness. "Jimi" concludes this enjoyable release with a final floating set of shadings and atmospherics. Though Hendrix himself might have had something to say about using his material, he might well have enjoyed the final results.

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