Scott McGill — The Hand Farm
(Mellow MMP 324, 1997, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-10-01
Those who are looking for great guitar chops in a free form jazz-rock format need look no further than this new release by New Jersey guitarist Scott McGill and his trio; a casual listen to any of the 11 tracks herein will certainly leave blisters on your fingers. McGill's preferred guitar style is a distorted and angular chord-driven electric jazz with lightning fast lead runs crisscrossing the rhythmic patterns set up by bassist Kevin Woolsten and drummer Anthony DeSimone, an open ended sound with plenty of space for improvisation. Take Larry Coryell around the time of Spaces, give him a grungier sounding axe and put him in an electrified three-piece ensemble and you might come up with something close to this. McGill's punchy guitar attack storms relentless through the entire album, with no vocals and few breathers — you gotta love guitar for this one. Fans of Allan Holdsworth, Fourth Estate, Nels Cline, Tribal Tech and the like will find plenty here to enjoy. If there's anything to fault, it would just be the intense sonic attack that rarely slows enough to allow the listener to find a melodic hook; of course the same charge could be leveled against any of the other outstanding guitarists mentioned in this review. This is technical music, guitar for guitar's sake, your girlfriend probably won't like it. Highest recommendation.
Related artist(s): Scott McGill
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more