Pino Mattioli: Demo Tape Label: Private distribution from the artist, no reference number, 1999. No times listed for tunes. Email: email@example.com Demo tapes have to be approached differently from proper album releases. They come in different shapes and sizes, running the gamut from very low-budget at home affairs recorded on 4 track cassettes all the way up to high-production value offerings that are almost ready for release. This demo tape is sonically towards the lower end of the spectrum, but is still a great listen. Pino Mattioli is an Italian guitarist operating in the instrumental power-trio format that straddles the jazz and heavy rock cusp. The format demands first and foremost that the lead instrument soloist (in this case a burning six-string electric axe) be able to shred. Without that the listener gets reminded abruptly of how important vocals and lyrics are to songs, since instrumental rock-jazz fusion is about extended soloing. Hell..most tunes are one long solo, or succession of solos. Stylistically Mr. Mattioli sits at the heavier end of things. If Steve Vai were focused on jazz or if Steve Morse were to metal-up his offerings, they might sound quite a bit like this. The best material here conjures visions of a beefier Allan Holdsworth, a hard rocking Eric Johnson, a less eclectic Ronnie Montrose, with Mattioli's fingers traversing the fretboard with masterful ease. At his most derivitive he sounds like a Joe Satriani plays jazz-wannabe, with some prog-metal riffing thrown in for good measure. The plus here is that Mattioli clearly has a sense of what his music is about, and delivers it with flair and fire. What weakens the demos (recorded at home on an 8-track mixer) is the drum machine programming. Most of it is very good actually, it just lends a mechanical quality at times that detracts from the listening experience. I'd like to hear these again when Mattioli can bring in a powerhouse fusion rhythm section - some cats like Scott McGill has playing with him would be just fine - then it would be time to deliver the tremendous high-energy record promised by this tape. Who might like it? Fans of take-no-prisoners wank-fest instrumental rock and jazz fronted by a major guitar gunslinger. Who might dislike it? Those who hate wank-fest rock and jazz instrumentals. Also those who regard drum machines as tools of Satan. The best tracks: "Guitar On The (SL)Edge", "Bad Aliens". The track that best represents Mr. Mattioli's style: "Bad Aliens". Star rating: 2 ½ out of 5. There's a ton of potential here. I'm glad I was sent the tape, and look forward to hearing more. Personnel: Pino Mattioli - guitars, bass, keyboards, drum machine programming. Produced and engineered by Pino Mattioli. The Tunes: 1. High Groove 2. Info War 3. Guitar On The (SL)Edge 4. Bad Aliens 5. Gladio 6. Colors Steven Davies-Morris (SDM) -- A 21st Century Schizoid Man firstname.lastname@example.org
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