Joe Satriani: Unstoppable Momentum

Satch nails it on his 14th solo sweep.

TODO alt text

Yeeaaahhh! Barely 30 seconds into irresistible single A Door Into Summer, this seems a fitting response. Proper silly-grinning guitar heroism lives on as Satriani slides from the sci-fi flavours of various 00s releases to the Satch of old – out of this world, but organic at heart.

Warning: the first three or so numbers don’t catch instantly. And Three Sheets To The Wind has a rather plinky-plonky chorus. But a couple of listens reveal driving songcraft that’s by turns brooding and open, amalgamating a gazillion scales in far-out (but thoughtfully arranged) twiddly spurts while remaining hooked in melody.

The wanderlust hasn’t gone, however. Jumpin’ In hits you à la Satch Boogie with a fabulous lead line, funky rhythm, spacey bits, slapping bass… A lot goes on (as with other tracks here) but gels easily. Meanwhile, tempo-shifting The Weight Of The World boasts infectious 80s keyboard bursts from Mike Keneally, part of a superb backing band.

It’s refreshing that someone with enough technical va-va-voom to play whatever the fuck he can imagine – inspired variously by current affairs, films and old riff ideas, among other things – should create material that just works, avoiding crass translation of dexterity or influences to songs. Wonderful.