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J.P. Glovasa - 'Taking The First Step' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/89/5e/b4/jp-glovasa-taking-the-first-step-73-1481407321.jpg Hot

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An entertaining trip through the mind of an interesting musician.

It would be easy to dismiss Melbourne multi-instrumentalist J.P. Glovasa as another guitar player who's arrived long after the shredders, Bluesmen and Fusionists have taken the instrument as far as possible. His Punky pseudonym, Johnny 2 Swigs, hardly conjures up images of a subtle and talented artiste with a handle on any style you care to mention, but this guy's intriguing. Starting as a teenage bass/keyboard player in Alt-Rockers Tachism in 1999 and Gospel/R&B band Az One Voice as a guitarist a year later, Glovasa joined Thrash Metallers 4arm in 2004, recorded three albums, played all over the world and snagged himself endorsements with Ibanez and Peavey. Also as bassist with Psychedelic Rockers Vitruvian Man, he's tried Country Rock.

Over the years, Glovasa has written a few instrumental songs that didn't fit in other projects. He's recorded them, mostly on his own, with just drummer Greg Stone, a few percussionists and his Jazz trio singer for company. Surprisingly the album starts off gently with the beautiful acoustic title-track and follows it with the fine, slightly melancholy Jeff Beck-style 'The Day Of Ruin', which is not only awash with understated melodies but shows just how well this album has been recorded and mixed.

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The up-tempo 'As The Wanderer Follows The Light' is a bit more flamboyant, with vibrato worthy of Steve Vai and great note choices on the solos, whilst the tuneful 'Lonesome Moonlight' shows that at least this guitar virtuoso understands that less can sometimes be more. Other highlights include the complex 'Battle In The Clouds', the multi-layered 'Pathetic' and the simply wonderful 'Here We Stand', which starts as a reprise of the acoustic opening track before switching to a soaring electric ballad with improvised vocals from Misaco Isono.

Other songs have different flavours but a few work less well, like the riffy Prog Metal of 'Confrontation' or the off-kilter 'Fuse'. These, aside, 'Choose Your Own Path' is tribal acoustic strumming with djembe drums and chant vocals, 'Bloodstained Rose' is light Rock that gets better as it goes on, and 'Fire Dance' is the most aggressive track on offer with dual shred solos.

J.P. Glovasa is a fine talent with eclectic tastes and he's made a varied instrumental album that completely avoids being over-indulgent. Moments of excitement and genuine inspiration are rare, so are instances of tedium, but 'Taking The First Step' is an entertaining trip through the mind of an interesting musician.

Phil Ashcroft

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