Reeves Gabrels

The Sacred Squall of Now

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AllMusic Review by Roch Parisien

Reeves Gabrels is a talented, sometimes inspiring guitarist saddled with the reputation of riding on David Bowie's coattails. Unfortunately, while The Sacred Squall of Now provided the perfect opportunity for Gabrels to step up and carve his own identity, he instead plays right into the sycophancy allegation. Grabels makes full use of his position as chief string-bender for Bowie side project/plaything Tin Machine to call in a few markers. Frank Black, Jeffrey Gaines, Charlie Sexton, and actor Gary Oldman all take guest turns, with Bowie himself vocalizing a pair. Instrumentally, the disc works as a more accessible Tin Machine, dropping the "boys-night-out" yobbo histrionics in favor of something altogether more refined and stimulating. As such, exotic instrumentals like "Hushu" and "Firedome" make for great sonics. There's also an interesting wall of guitars/heavy metal viola treatment ladled over CCR's "Bad Moon Rising." The chief problem starts when Reeves opens his mouth. As a singer/songwriter, Gabrels makes a fine guitarist.

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