There’s a lady who’s sure, all that glitters is… no, not that one, the other one! Most of this is fairly straightforward, although there are one or two problem areas if you wish to play it exactly the same.
It’s every transcriber’s nightmare! The phone rings: it’s Da Boss… “Can you do that classic Zep number?” The blood runs cold, those little hairs on the back of your neck that serve no useful purpose other than to signal when you’re feeling uncomfortable start to prickle. “No… not ‘Stairway’, please! Anything but that! I’ve been good, honest, I did that Steve Vai thing recently didn’t I? And 17 pages of Floyd! They’d like this one!” (more…)
Freak Show, Silverchair’s sophomore effort, proves that the Australian grunge power trio is more than an overhyped, flash-in-the-pan, boy-wonder band. The songwriting is more evolved, the playing is tighter, the tones are heavier and more deliberate, and there is less reliance on the Seattle-inspired formulas of the first album. The current and first worldwide single, Freak, is what the group is all about: crunchy, bowel-loosening guitar rhythms, unadorned, in-your-face arranging, and the hubris of youth that has always been a cornerstone of rock music. (more…)
Sponge is representative of the new brand of post-grunge rock currently pouring out of Seattle. Their second album, Wax Ecstatic, on Columbia gave us a motherlode of great new songs and riffs, and the current single, Have You Seen Mary, is a perfect example of what all the shouting is about.
Deriving their name from a Gothic horror flick starring Boris Karloff, their image from the diverse trappings of occult mysticism, mythology, and the supernatural, and their sound from an amalgam of late-60s blues-rock and progressive musics, Black Sabbath transcended all their influences to almost single-handedly write the first official chapter of heavy metal in the early 70s. Led by guitarist Tony Iommi and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne, they brought a new scariness and heaviness to the rock scene, presaging the arrival of today’s hard rock genre by decades. Paranoid, the title song from their second and perhaps finest album is a vivid case in point, standing as one of the most durable metal tracks of all time. (more…)
Combining the distorted crushing sounds of heavy metal a la Black Sabbath with the angst and irony of punk, Soundgarden kept hard rock alive in the alternative world. One of the seminal Seattle bands, Soundgarden had the largest local following prior to Nirvana‘s kicking down the music industry doors in the early 90s. Soundgarden’s 1991 release, Badmotorfinger, marked a high point for the group and remains a signature statement. One of Soundgarden’s most accessible and accomplished records, it is distinguished by more varied textures, tempos and tangents than its predecessors; the primal guitar riffs of Kim Thayil; and the much-touted track Outshined. (more…)
Chuck Berry is the father of rock guitar. Though the elements were in the air, no one before him had hit upon the formula that put it all together – boogie-woogie piano style, jump blues rhythms, and Chicago-based electric guitarwork – or packaged it so neatly. Berry’s accomplishments are now imbedded in the core of rock music. Anyone picking up a guitar post-1955 has been influenced by him, directly or indirectly, and that includes the Beatles, Stones, the Who, Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, Angus Young, Ed Van Halen, or the latest kid on the block. Chuck was “discovered” and brought to Chess records in 1953 by none other than Muddy Waters himself, the Father of Electric Blues. Between the two, you have the essential DNA for practically all rock music to follow – but that’s another story. Today’s story is No Particular Place to Go, one of Berry’s biggest hits (No. 10 in 1964), a career-defining statement, and an immortal piece of the rock guitar legacy. (more…)