Steve Vai—”Teeth of the Hydra”

Released on 1 April 2022, a new song from guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, “Teeth of the Hydra” from the forthcoming album Inviolate.

This is extraordinary, but what else would you expect from Frank Zappa’s former guitarist?

And just how heavy is that three-neck guitar? It comprises a 12-string guitar, a 7-string guitar and a 4-string bass, with a whole bunch of onboard gadgetry including what looks like three vacuum tubes.

My albums of 2021

All the albums I bought or acquired in 2021

My annual review of what I’ve most enjoyed listening to during the last 12 months, and my albums of the year.

  1. Mordred—The Dark Parade
  2. Sel Balamir—Swell (EP)
  3. Amplifier—Bonus EP (2004) / Glory Electricity (Sunset Version)
  4. Steven Wilson—The Future Bites
  5. Jerry Cantrell—Brighten
  6. Graeme Lamb—Winter Passing
  7. Gojira—Fortitude
  8. Mastodon—Hushed and Grim
  9. Charlie Benante—Silver Linings
  10. Sepultura—SepulQuarta

Honourable mentions:

  • Aporia—Internal Conflict
  • Exodus—Persona Non Grata
  • Iron Maiden—Senjutsu
Continue reading My albums of 2021

Happy 40th birthday Anthrax

L–R: Frank Bello (bass), Joey Belladonna (vocals), Charlie Benante (drums), Scott Ian (guitar)

This year, the New York-based thrash metal band Anthrax turns 40.

Over the last two months on their YouTube channel they’ve been releasing a retrospective on their career with interviews with band members, producers, friends and metalheads across the globe. As I understand it they have 40 of these in the pipeline. So far we’ve reached episode 22 which has taken us to 2003 and probably my favourite Anthrax albums, We’ve Come For You All. I saw them live twice on that tour.

This evening (morning UK-time), they celebrated the event with a live stream event with a nearly 2 hours 15 minutes concert spanning most of their entire 40-year, 12-studio album career. (Typically, their John Bush era material was disappointingly missing.)

Continue reading Happy 40th birthday Anthrax

Three guitars that made me go “Wow!”

Over the years there have been only a few guitar designs that I have found quite beautiful and made me stop in my tracks and simply say, “Wow!”

Brian May Red Special

The first is, obviously, Brian May’s handmade Red Special. The original was built by Brian and his father from various materials including a hundred-year-old mantelpiece and a knitting needle. The model below is the Super, made by Brian May Guitars, available for £2,950.

This is the perfect electric guitar, as far as I am concerned.

The BMG Super

Parker Fly

First produced in 1993, I first saw the Parker Fly in the pages of Guitar World magazine. Designed by Ken Parker and Larry Fishman and sold by Parker Guitars, the Parker Fly is made from various tone woods with a carbon fibre exoskeleton and a combination of both traditional magnetic and piezoelectric pickups.

There is still something that I find quite beautiful about this instrument.

Parker Fly

Fender Acoustamatic Jazzmaster

And then this week, I first saw the new Fender Acoustamatic Jazzmaster. Versatile, combining rich acoustic tones and overdriven electric sounds, and quite beautiful.

Wow!

Fender Acoustasonic® Jazzmaster®

Re-covering Queen podcast

Recovering Queen : The Queen Fan Podcast Podcast Artwork Image
Podcast with three Queen fans, re-recording Queen songs and talking about them.

Well, you wait years for a decent Queen podcast and two come along at once.

On Re-covering Queen, each week, life-long Queen fans Jai, Matt and Ian talk about, rate and challenge each other to take it in turns to record a version of a favourite, or not so favourite track, by the greatest band in the world, Queen.

I’ve loved listening to their conversations, learning new things about the band and their recordings, and especially enjoyed their reinterpretations of familiar songs.

If you are a Queen fan, do check out Re-covering Queen on your favourite podcast application; mine is Pocket Casts for Android and Apple iOS.