CD Reviews

Joe Beier - 'Joe Beier' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 08, 2013    
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An awesome guitar instrumental album.

This instrumental rock album was actually released in mid 2011, and has taken its time in reaching the Fireworks Magazine reviews department. So why are we even bothering to include it here, now? Because it’s absolutely magnificent, that’s why!

The young Minneapolis-based guitarist Joe Beier and his associates have concocted a wonderfully listenable and attention-maintaining assortment of material on this, his debut album. At the time of its release, Beier commented “One of my favourite things to do with an electric guitar is to make strange noises and give the instrument its own language. I also love catchy melodies and unique harmonies in music. Many of the songs on this album have been floating around in my head for years, and some have gone through many, many revisions. I'm excited to be able to finally share the finished product!” So many debut albums can turn out to be inspirational because the store of ideas built up over a lengthy period is finally given an outlet, and in giving us an album of thirteen tracks running for nearly an hour, Beier has certainly given full rein to his musical imagination and inventiveness, and all those ideas. Some might suggest that the album is too long; they would be wrong! This album is an engaging listen from start to finish, and except for those of you hardened against instrumental albums, one I would urge you to try.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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It is inevitable, I guess, that comparisons will be drawn with obvious influences from the world of instrumental guitar music and for me the tonal and stylistic comparisons with ‘Venus Isle’ era Eric Johnson that I kept noticing are the most apposite. But there is a splendid variety here and one is immediately suckered in by the Celtic drenched metal tones of ‘Battle Of Benburb’ (except for anyone who is not keen on bagpipes, Ian Johnson!) ‘Spaghetti Fever’ and ‘Little Cat Walk’ are straightforward guitar-focused tracks while in between ‘Why Can’t You Just Be Nice?’ is a wonderfully quirky three and a half minute kitchen sink mélange!

The understated, slightly jazzy ‘Secret Ride’ is poor preparation for ‘Escape From Down Under’: a snarling beast of a track, that starts innocuously enough but builds and builds into a fabulous feast of strident grungy riffs. ‘The Aftermath’ initially returns proceedings to a more introspective vein, but this one again demonstrates Beier’s majestic range and technique. And there’s plenty more to discover, not least of which are ‘Forever More’ that somehow seems to be modeled upon at least has undercurrents of ‘Old Lang Syne’ and splendidly rocky ‘Fire Under The Tree’.

I think this is an awesome guitar instrumental album…and I expect Joe Beier to become much better known before too long…

Paul Jerome Smith

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