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VARIOUS ‘Guitar Centre Volume 1’ Mascot M7100-2(2004)

This compilation features 15 tracks by noted rock guitarists, with the intention I guess of being a showcase for each.

The set opens with a track by John 5 (Marilyn Manson) which is surprisingly good. Hard and fast, verging on trad thrash in the most enjoyable way. Steve Morse is more mellow, if a little aimless on this one. But then Megedeth's Marty Freidman takes a more mellow approach too.

An obvious standout is Michael Schenker's 'I Got The Fire', a solid metal track that breaks the monotony with vocals. This is the album's stormer. George Lynch attempts 'All Along The Watch Tower', and we also get Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa and many others that range from jazz rock and blues rock to metal, with only Greg Koch and Vial Information at the annoyingly anal end.

If you want to experiment with recent releases by top guitarists, this is a worthwhile compilation.

The closer of Racer X's thrash 'Superheroes' sums it all well.


Review by Joe Geesin

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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