Joe Satriani: Shockwave Supernova

15th studio album of guitar wizardry from Satch.

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His dizzying fretboard frolics might be supersonic and other-worldly, but Satriani’s work ethic is utterly grounded (averaging, as he has, an album every other year since the 80s).

He’s dovetailed into electronica and other experiments, but the last few years have been all about rocksteady ‘Satch-rock’ – i.e. instrumental mastery centred on the blues, via Mars.

True to recent form, Shockwave Supernova is an unwavering, slick slice of Satriani. It’s not his most magical oeuvre, but multiple listens uproot attractive depths.

Keep On Movin’ calls to mind the emotional end of 1992’s The Extremist; In My Pocket is a deliciously fun, sassy piece of bluesy rock’n’roll; and the warming, loveable likes of San Francisco Blue capture the full kaleidoscope of Satch’s musical affections. Swinging blues, 70s rock’n’roll, jazz, spacey jinks…he plays it all, usually at once.

Whatever your thoughts on instrumental necromancers, you can’t deny that it’s pretty bloody impressive./o:p