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Reviews

John Grindey's 'Better Than Mugging Old Ladies'
and Tony McAlpine's 'Roadrunner' from HM (Australian Rock Magazine) by Justin Owen (circa 1992/3)

"The mid '80s saw a sharp increase in the number of guitar shredders putting out solo albums packed with fretboard gymnastics and wild widdly diddly. The formation of the Shrapnel label acted as a release valve for a whole new school of axe weilders, opening the flood gates for Jason Becker and Marty Freidman's Neo-Classical/Metal project Cacophony, including at various stages, Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani and of course, Tony MacAlpine.

On the local front, whilst there is no shortage of hot shit guitarists, it would seem that the ones taking the limelight are the Tommy Emmanuel's and the Nathan Cavaleri's. Much props to them of course, but its about time that John Grindey hit his distortion pedal and showed them all what was up.

What these albums have all had in common thus far is an exceptional level of musicianship from all the players involved. The hottest guitarists always seem to end up playing with the hottest rhythm sections, and the results, or the guitars at least have spoken for themselves. Tony MacAlpine plays guitar with a definite classical element, in a wonderfully European flavour. Moody keyboards and harmonised guitars and arrangements that sore and fly.

John Grindey on the other hand, comes from somewhere a little closer to the Joe Satch school of technology, his opening track is even called Badriani. A sharper guitar sound for the hard bits and a clear, glassy feel for the lighter bits. The interest here shouldn't be limited to guitar heads, but if youre a shredder, then you'll definitely get off on both of these."

  1.  Badriani

  2.  Dipped Whammy

  3.  Dredlock Shred

  4.  Purple Joe

  5.  Guitar Widow

  6.  Flange Piece

  7.  Vai-olent

  8.  Rhubarb & Custard

  9.  Funk 'e' Minor

10.  Pack Your Bags