Before I say anything about the music I have to say I love the artwork for this album with it’s retro Sci-Fi theme including a strange guitar playing Skeleton spaceman, angry robots and flying hot rod cars!
Anyway back to the music, this is a new instrumental guitar album by Nick Johnston released this month (Nov 15th) which has a strong focus on melodies over fretboard gymnastics. That’s not to say that Nick isn’t capable of shredding, there’s plenty of that too for the guitar nerds out there. The album is pretty eclectic incorporating Rock, Blues and a bit of Reggae too and is backed up by a very capable rhythm section.
“I wanted to have an album that could showcase guitar and still be full of hooks, melody lines and strong grooves. A song has to speak to you, even when there are no lyrics. This album features mind blowing drum performances from the amazing Travis Orbin. Rounding out the line up is Matt King : A long time musician, a huge part of my sound and an incredible bass player. With the help of these two stellar musicians, I was able to create a monster of an album!”
One of my favourite tracks on the album is called “Night Of The Living Dance” which sounds like a Tarantino Horror soundtrack with it’s surf drum beat and spooky main theme. It’s a really fun track and shows that Nick draws from many musical influences rather than being very 2 dimensional. Another of my favourite tracks is the track that follows called “Devil’s Dancing Shoes” which is a slow tempo track in 6/8 so it has a bit of a waltzy swingy feel. I love the intro melody as it has cool a dissonant melody and laid back feel but the drums and bass really push it along. I think the thing with both of these tracks that you notice too is that there is no over the top flashy guitar soloing, it’s obvious that Nick has the technique, talent and skill to pull off a mind bending flurry of shred but he refuses to compromise his songwriting.
You can check out a clip of the title track below:
Check out Nick’s ReverbNation page – http://www.reverbnation.com/nickjohnston