Released: 2008, Magna Carta
Reviewer: Crystal Rhynes
Any old-time headbanger is bound to realize that Steve Stevens is the longtime guitarist/songwriter for Billy Idol. Being a hardcore child of the 80s and 90s, and not caring all that much for Billy Idol (insert with a Rebel Yell she cried more more more) I did not expect very much in the way of intelligent music when I initially inserted MEMORY CRASH into my sound system.
Boy! I hate to admit it, but I couldn’t have been more surprised…or wrong. Steve Stevens really shows his musical eclecticism with this album. There are not very many songs with vocals, so if you are interested in a pop-sounding record with a good beat that you can recreate at karaoke on Thursday nights, then this is not the record for you. However, if you are a fan of thoughtful, intelligent and exquisite guitars then this album is a must have.
Every fiber of my being longs to compare this album to some other record in existence so that it can be categorized and filed away under the categorical metal filing system all of us headbangers use, but the sounds on this record are so experimental and innovative, that I am hard pressed to liken it to any other CD on the market today.
Throughout the album, Stevens makes excellent use of technicality, emotion, passion and experimental guitar-work to buoy the listener to new heights of experience and joy. Among my personal favorites is track #4 "Water on Ares" which combines an energetic electric guitar sound with gut-wrenching acoustic guitars that combine so smoothly that, for a moment, I thought about hauling that old Washburn out of the closet to practice my scales.
One of the few songs on the album to contain vocals is track #5 – "Day of the Eagle" with said vocals provided by Dug Pinnick, who old headbangers will remember as the vocalist for King’s X. And while the guitar work on this track is beautifully executed, the vocals are somewhat reminiscent of Carlos Santana’s work with Rob Thomas on the single entitled "Smooth".
All in all, if you are looking for a record to sing along with in the car on your way to work, MEMORY CRASH is not for you. However, the guitar playing on the album is so significant and tasty that even the most seasoned musician should find some inspiration on this record and fans of the guitar will not be bored for one minute.