I feel I have been very fortunate and blessed
lately with some really excellent and innovative new albums from all
over the metal spectre. But first solo album from Spock's Beard
guitarist Alan Morse had me scratching my head more than
I am a big Spock's Beard fan and ever since
Alan's brother Neal left the band, he (Alan) has grown as a musician
and songwriter, which a quick listen to the 3 albums they've
released since Neal's departure clearly shows. 'Four O'clock and
Hysteria' is something he has been harbouring for a very long time,
an ambition to show and express himself in a more passionate way.
The result is this instrumental roller-coaster
ride with its ups and downs, mostly down if you ask me. No doubt he
is a very gifted musician, and the supporting cast is equally
gifted; joining him on this album is the whole Spock's gang, his
brother Neal (who also co-produced the album), a brilliant line-up
of brilliant studio musicians and violinist Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu
The variety of styles ranges from country
(Drive in Shuffle), bluesy jazz (R Bluz), acoustic AOR (Major Buzz),
fusion (Cold Fusion), funk (First Funk & Dschungle Cruz) to
hard rock (The Rite of Left). And I must admit that this does not
rock my world in any way... sure there are bits and pieces of
interest, and some the leads are very good. But only a few things
stick in my mind after listening to the album, and I have really
given it a fair chance...
I have nothing but the utmost respect for Alan
Morse as a guitarist and as a song writer, but I must admit that
this release is only for hard core Spock's Beard fans and
other guitarists, who like to listen other fret board equilibrists'
ideas expressed thru music...