Sunday, August 2, 2015

August's standard

Was there, was looking at me, was not part of my plan, was reduced to a consideration, was subjected to a change of mind, was bought.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Alien invasion

I welcome August with a planned alien invasion.

SV Guitars tried to contact Ogre to order this particular overdrive for me in a green finish (for that TS allusion, obviously) but the manufacturer remained uncontactable. So this one was acquired today. I'd like to thank the SV people (Penin branch) for their patience & top notch customer service when I was there for a pre-purchase try out.

Ogre pedals were first mentioned here: CLICK

Friday, July 31, 2015

The benevolent cleaner

Finally, something to put this issue to rest- Is WD-40 suitable for curing stuck pots/ cleaning the guitar's electronic contacts?

The malignant WD-40 that we know is the blue/ yellow can that lazy techs resort to when cleaning dirty contacts. Personally, I had negative experiences with that version but now we have the appropriate WD-40 for our guitar needs.This one is especially for contact cleaning so it won't treat your pots & switches like dead industrial parts that need to be dealt with. It's available at hardware stores for $15+/- & it's on my to-buy list.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Coma music for guitar dweebs

This is one part Pink Floyd, one part Dream Theater & one part death metal but all these allusions do not paint the proper picture of what BTBAM is all about. I'm saying this because 2012's The Parallax II is one of heavy music's best release by a contemporary metal band whose critics deemed them as 'death core' (like that means much in terms of definition) but this release contains elements of departure. The heaviness served by Coma Ecliptic remains essential because we couldn't have anything else here to supplement intense drumming & death growls. However, the guitars veered into psychedelia every now & then which makes the journey a little more exciting. Team W (Waggoner/ Warring) have chosen to peg their guitar's heavy elements in tandem with what prog does, even the technicalities reek of Steve Morse & John Petrucci more than anything else but we know what these guys could offer collectively so the band's identity isn't lying in the shadows of some other established acts. Coming back to death metal- the overall concept of this albums simply questions the relevance of those bit-part death growls which aren't essential, I'd dare say. However, the band had embraced this vocal style for some time & they understandably wouldn't want to leave it out entirely. A good metal album & it's threatening to be uniquely beyond compare but let's see what the rest of 2015 has to offer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rising urge

This album is mandatory for guitar dweebs if you are really serious about getting somewhere in terms of your playing. I used to own the cassette version & it died due to over-play. I hate to buy a subsequent copy of something I already own but this one requires mandatory replacement. The consolation- it's now in CD format so it will not pose an issue in terms of over-playing (Will it? Time will tell).

What does this album offer me in terms of guitar education?

1) Precision- Malmsteen is a precise picker. All his picked notes are perfect (to me), there isn't a hint of sloppiness to be heard especially his lightning fast staccato passages. If he brags about it, he has the right to as he is pretty much the standard to beat in this case.

2) Analog heaviness- In view of the time this was recorded, it's free from those digital cess we hear in today's playback. The distortion here is downright heavy & it's all about his cranked up Marshall. Is this a case of less is more? It's definitely a case of sticking to what works.

So here's a reminder to myself- employ what works, stop trying to bow down to the current fad because the boutique effects units/ amps might amount to nothing in terms of fulfillment.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The eagle has landed

For those of us in need of something different, something nostalgic but fully functional- the Ibanez Black Eagle bass (first mentioned here: CLICK)is now available at Swee Lee ($869.98).