There are some records which I find terrible. I mean,
really. Bite my face off, burn my taste buds, kick a kitten, tie a bone to a
dog’s tail just to watch said dog chase said own tail terrible.
Then there are records that are “meh”. These records I like
to listen to on a slow Wednesday afternoon with the specific purpose of killing
time and brain function because idle time with idle brain function usually
involves me turning the office supplies into a makeshift percussion kit for a
On the other end of the spectrum, there are records which I
listen to, to appreciate the poly-rhythms and the uneven musical structures and
the slight, subtle nuances in the production that make that particular guitar
track sound just that much better in the mix, and exactly that much snare with
precisely that much reverse to it, with exactly that much reverb. And pixie
dust. Tons and tons of pixie dust.
Then of course, there are records like Easy Game which I
can’t go through without hitting the pause button and then making an utter arse
of myself on my own guitar.
Easy Game is a relatively simplistic and straight forward
approach to an instrumental record: some drums, some guitar, some bass, and a
whole lot of groove. A throwback to when the tracks in your recording software
didn't look like a rainbow’s fart. Or rather, a throwback to when we didn't
have recording software.
The record sounds and feels like a jam session in progress.
That quality in an instrumental album is in itself is a rarity, and in this
regard it is quite similar to a Guthrie Govan album. Also, like Guthrie’s
works, it shall leave you grinning like an idiot at the end of it, no problem.
The guitars sound filthy (good), and there is no such thing as too much wah. No
sir, definitely not. Speed is used, of course, but in small fits and doses. The
rest is great guitar phrasing and some intervening pieces of bass genius
(courtesy Marcel Willnat).
A couple of standout tracks in the record are Hacienda,
which sounds exactly like something out of a Wild West movie, and Camels Dance,
with its memorable intro, slap technique and Middle Eastern influences in the
All in all, Easy Game is a guitarist’s album through and
through. And even if you’re not a guitarist, well, you've come this far in the
review, haven’t you? Go ahead, check it out, you won’t regret it.