Exposé Online banner

Stephane Vaillant — Crazy Stuff
(Brennus BR 8052.AR, 1999, CD)

by Jerry Baiden, Published 2001-03-01

Crazy Stuff Cover art

Okay, let’s get one thing straight; this guy can play guitar. It’s obvious he can play circles around any of these modern thrashy guitar heroes. Stéphane Vaillant has got very nice tone and good feel to go along with his killer chops. However, there is always a danger in displaying your virtuosity over and over without songs that serve as an adequate carrier wave. This is what happens with Vaillant’s Crazy Stuff. It is a common problem that plagues rock guitar virtuosos like Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Vinnie Moore, Tony Macalpine, and the list goes on. Great guitar players, not so great songwriters. Every song seems like just another vehicle for the player to blow his chops on. If Vaillant and his colleagues could somehow feature themselves within songs that are musically substantial enough to be remembered by, their legacy would probably be much more enduring. With rock guitar instrumentals, you have a disadvantage in regards to harmony. Straight ahead rock tunes in general are not as complex in rhythmic or harmonic structure as jazz- or classical-influenced pieces. Therefore, what usually happens is that a guitarist like Vaillant is stuck with overused foundations to build upon. Your ears have most likely heard what he is playing a thousand times already. Though, if you like to hear guitarists just blow, it’s worth a listen.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Stéphane Vaillant

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Tractor's Revenge - Othello – Tractor’s Revenge is a four piece act which embraces the darker side of gothic progressive rock much in the vein of Belgium’s Universe Zero. Led by Avi Bellili, the twelve pieces on this recording...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues