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Paul Gilbert: I Can Destroy

Axe ace puts the songs before the solos.

Paul Gilbert I Can Destroy album cover

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.

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock