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Paul Gilbert: I Can Destroy

Axe ace puts the songs before the solos.

It’s the perennial muso’s challenge: you can play anyone under the table, but can you do it within the framework of a memorable tune to get the attention of non-shredheads?

Former Mr Big squiddlemeister Paul Gilbert fares better than most virtuosos on that score, and he takes an admirably less-is-more approach to his undeniably startling instrumental breaks on likeably high-octane rockers such as the Cheap Trick-y Knocking On A Locked Door.

He lets loose a bit more freely on I Am Not The One and he even experiments with Queen-style multitracked harmonies on Everybody Use Your Goddamn Turn Signal. But for fans, it’ll be the hard-rock thunder and flashes of fret lightning on the title track and I Am Not The One that’ll get pulses racing fastest.