Exposé Online banner

Hectic Watermelon — The Great American Road Trip
(Predator Fish PF 3346, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01

The Great American Road Trip Cover artHectic Watermelon is less a band than a solo project built around the talents of guitarist John Czajkowski. For this album he's assembled a capable trio to back him that includes bass (Harley Magsino), drums (Darren Debree), as well as legendary fusion violinist Jerry Goodman, who contributes his usual top notch playing to nine of the album's 11 tracks. Czajkowski is a versatile and multi-faceted player, though he sticks primarily with electric fusion-rock guitar throughout the album. Stylistically he covers the usual, from Eric Johnson's "clean Strat" sound, to Steve Morse's "country boogie" style, to Steve Vai's "strangled metal" style, with nods here and there to everyone from Jeff Beck to Alan Holdsworth. Clearly he's studied every big name guitarist to come along in the past 20 years and can pull whatever style is demanded of him out of his bag of tricks. The arrangements — all instrumentals except for the Adrian Belew flavored "Twenty-First Century Visigoth" — are fairly standard guitar trio fusion fare. Memorable tunes are scarce, though what you get instead is loads of leads and solos from Czajkowski and plenty of duels between him and Goodman. Fans of the rockin' fusion or the aforementioned guitarists will probably enjoy this album, though slipping an acoustic piece or two in among the others would have helped give it a bit more diversity. Still, Czajkowski is a talent to be reckoned with and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Hectic Watermelon

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Adrian Belew - Belewprints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two – The second volume of acoustic performances by King Crimson lead vocalist Adrian Belew is a different reading than Volume One from a few years ago. No bones about it, Belew is a gifted composer; his...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues