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Tuesday, 04 March 2008 17:17
stevens_front_cover_miniweb.jpgBy Ken Volpe - Guitar Jam Daily
Here it is, another Tuesday new CD release date. It's March 4th 2008 and the long awaited solo project from Steve Stevens is here.

A few weeks back his label, Magna Carta, sent me a promotion copy of Memory Crash. As soon as I heard about this project I was extremely excited. I have always been a huge fan of Steve's music and knew that this latest work would be a gem.

The production is well balanced and this CD flat-out just sounds great.

On the 9 originals, Steve plays all the instruments except the drums. Rock session drummer and longtime friend Brian Tichy covered this in marvelous fashion.  

The first song that really caught my attention was titled, “Hellcats Take The Highway.” The groove on this song has some good old school rock flavor blended with a more current feel, which really works.  The melody lines are intricate and fully locked-in with the band.  

After that you are hit with the title cut, “Memory Crash.” This tune contains a drop tuned fuzz laden rhythm part that is mean and funky.  Steve utilizes a Digitech Whammy Pedal throughout the tune in a tasteful fashion. Memory Crash also has some perfectly blended harmonies and layers.  

Track 4, “Water on Ares,” take a different turn. The intro is a subdued dual guitar part. Steve plays the rhythm part with a unique Mando Guitar and plays the catchy melody with his trusty Collings steel-string. The song builds into an intense solo featuring some classic Steve Stevens melodic offerings.  

Memory Crash does showcase one well-placed cover. “Day Of The Eagle” a Robin Trower classic was his choice. I played this for a handful of life-long Trower fans and they all agreed that Steve’s version pays tribute in a kick-ass way. Guest artist, Dug Pinnick, covers the vocal and bass duties rather well.  

A little further along on the CD I came across “Prime Mover.” The song begins with a Flamenco-inspired passage and works its way into a tight ii/V groove. The solo that Steve plays on this song is probably my favorite from the CD. There is one part in this solo that is still jaw dropping to my jaw. (Real TMJ stuff.) I mean the guy can really play and does it with serious passion. He’s got tone, taste and chops…he’s got it all.  

The final cut titled “Josephine,” really hit me for two reasons. Number one, it has an intro that just made me feel good.  Number two; the middle section is clearly a tribute to guitar legend, Steve Howe of Yes. You can hear more about that in my interview that I did with Steve last week on GJD.  

Obviously many of us know Steve Stevens from his early days with Billy Idol. But I would venture to say that most Idol fans aren’t aware of his compositional prowess. Besides great writing, His playing on Memory Crash is very melodic and thoughtful and never too full of riffs or unwarranted shredding. The overall vibe of the project is familiar yet unique at the same time which is a sign of true genius in my opinion.

Don’t even think twice just go buy this CD and let it rip…. 
 
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