Zero Mantra: The First Review is In

From the folks over at “Can This Even Be Called Music,” a cool independent blog reviewing underground bands with, generally, a bit of a progressive, avant-garde bent. Full Disclosure, I’ve known Dave Lopez, the reviewer, for quite some time over at a guitar site I run with a couple buddies, but I think the fact we know each other comes through clearly in the review itself. So, take this with as large a grain of salt as you deem appropriate:

This comment, or variants of it:

One of the biggest issues currently in the instrumental guitar scene is the lack of good songwriting skills. Most guys are aiming to show off theirs “talent” by shredding your face off. Drew Peterson can play his ass off, EX) 2:30 in Red Skies, but he decides to give us the nuances that are missed in the current overcompressed guitar tone world.

Solo albums in general can be a boring idea since most musicians use it as an opportunity to write jam tracks and then to just show their skills over it. But Peterson has songs where sometimes the bass and drums will feel like they are actually leading the song. Even at some points having no guitars playing in certain sections.

Now I wouldn’t call this a progressive album, it’s actually rather simple at times, but his songwriting and catchy/singable melodies make this a GOOD album.

…is something I’ve heard from a lot of people so far, and frankly is something I’m really relieved to be hearing. As an instrumental guitarist, you know you’re playing something of a niche genre, where pretty much the only people who are going to listen to you are other guitarists. And even then, most of them are going to tell you you’re playing too many notes and why can’t you just sound more like Eric Clapton or B.B. King? (and, I mean no disrespect to either player; both are great musicians, they’re just doing something different than what I want to. And that’s totally cool.) So, I spent a lot of time trying to write decent songs for this album, and while I think there are places where they can be stronger, a lot of people have told me this is an album that’s unusually melodic, hummable, and listenable for a “shred” record, so I’m really excited to hear that I’ve been able to do something that resonates with other people.

Anyway, go check out “Can This Even Be Called Music”!

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