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Eclectic Earwig Reviews

Pino Mattioli: Demo Tape

Label: Private distribution from the artist, no reference number, 1999.  No
times listed for tunes.

Email: pinomat@jth.it

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

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 � out of 5. There's a ton of potential here.  I'm glad I was
sent the tape, and look forward to hearing more.

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

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