From Detritus (Tim Wadzinski)


9 tracks, RT: 53:46

It's hard to believe but this is *finally* maestro Schenker's first all-electric instrumental guitar album. After the McAuley-Schenker Group version of MSG folded seven-odd years ago, he wanted to do instrumental work; the acoustic THANK YOU album came out in '93, but this puppy is the real deal. I have a copy of the European version, but I think it's on Shrapnel in the US. Anyway... The tracks are divided up thusly: "Achtung Fertig, Los" and "Open Gate" start things off, then "Three Fish Dancing" and "Michael Schenker Junior" are grouped as "Adventures Part One"; "Aardvark In A VW Smoking A Cigar" and "I Want To Be With You" are grouped as "Adventures Part Two"; and then "Old Man With Sheep On Mars," "At The End Of The Day," and "Hand In Hand" are grouped as "Adventures Part Three." Yes, those are odd titles but that's probably the only thing this has in common with other guitar albums. You know the kind: there's some shred, a blues number, a ballad or two, maybe a Spanish piece...the kind of album where the guitarist tries to show off his diversity. Not here, and I mean this in the best possible way. Schenker is Schenker and, joined here by bassist John Onder and drummer Aynsley Dunbar, he's asking you to just enjoy his flawless sense of melody on ADVENTURES. This is vintage Schenker that oozes class. Today's rap/rock hybrid "artists" should put down their guitars before they embarrass themselves any further, and just listen here to find out what a real musician can do. Sure, the songs with goofy titles (the trio with animals in their names) are probably way too long and sound more like medleys than actual songs--they definitely need to be split up into more concise, regular-length chunks--but no matter. Anyone with an appreciation of well-crafted rock songs based on the guitar as central instrument will find much to like on this album. My personal favorite track is sort of an oddball; "At The End Of The Day" is a guitar-only piece, featuring layers of different electric tones over the top of an acoustic base. It kinda resembles a Boston tune at first, and its seamlessness is amazing. Great stuff. - Tim

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