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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Review-Joe-Satriani-Shockwave-Supernova-2015

JOE SATRIANI

SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA

SONY MUSIC | Release Date: July 24 2015

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Joe Satriani releases his 15th studio album on 24th July ahead of a November UK Tour and to be frank it’s a revelation: extroverted, ambitious and absolutely unmissable.


If you’ve listened to Satriani over recent years or even caught him on his ‘Unstoppable Momentum’ tour then you’ll be aware that both creatively and performance-wise he is in the form of his career. It follows therefore that any new release is bound to be lapped up by the fans, but the reality is that this album is something rather special: far-reaching, stellar, even transformational. It just might lead to… well, just about anywhere and for a guitarist who has always stretched the limits that is saying something.


The key element here is the birth of Satriani’s alter-ego ‘Shockwave Supernova’ the extroverted out-there version of the man who plays guitar with his teeth and runs on the road of excess, it’s almost as if Satriani has created his own ‘Alice Cooper’ though in his case there’s Sci-Fi to replace the Schlock-Horror or Alice. So with nothing to prove Satriani sets out to reinvent himself over 15 tracks.


When you hear the first strains of the opening title track you know that experiment has worked: as the starry bursts of guitar spike out from the blackness of space and bejewel the body of the song, shining through the flesh to great effect.  And from thereon in the ride never stops: ‘Lost in Memory’ has a primal organic feel like mountains or the river as it flows from the speakers; whilst ‘Crazy Joey’ heralds the emergence of that alter-ego and almost seems to be that entity trying to engage you in conversation; before the funky groove of ‘In My Pocket’ wonders by before bursting into flower.


Like previous albums here again Satriani has brought together some of his favourite collaborators – the wonderful Marco Minnemann (drums) and Bryan Beller (bass) form the backline and Mike Keneally is again on keys and guitars. It’s a collaboration that works in two ways – the obvious skill and familiarity works as you might expect, but equally it allows Joe and his cohorts to push just that little more and find fresh and stimulating new colour and texture.


On an album you really should just listen right through, we’ll highlight some of our favourite moments: for starters there’s the vibrant ‘On Peregrine Wings’ which captures the feel of air and movement beautifully; then the waves and bluesy flow of ‘San Francisco Blue’ and of course the wonderful ‘Scarborough Stomp’ which is almost a lesson in the laws of seventies rock… The moment for us though is the fleeting and contemplative ‘Butterfly and Zebra’ which is there and gone in an instant and set against the blast of ‘…Phase’ and ‘…Stomp’ is afforded even more inpact.


Of the fifteen tracks on Shockwave Supernova we cover a lot of ground – from the hard rocking numbers like ‘Scarborough Stomp’ and ‘A Phase I’m Going Through’ to the more reflective and uneasy offerings, it’s a great trip through the ‘Shockwave Supernova’...  


Listen to this and set your mind free to fly.

 

 

by Mark Rockpit

 


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