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Bradshaw, J.D. - The Essence Of Existence (4/10) - USA - 2002

Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Acacia Entertainment
Playing time: 16:37
Band homepage: Bradshaw, J.D.

Tracklist:

  1. Firecracker
  2. Over The Top
  3. Patchouli
  4. Yamaya
Bradshaw, J.D. - The Essence Of Existence
I can't find much to say about this demo which falls outside the box, so I'll just be descriptive: typical instrumental Hard Rock with above-average soloing and wretched drumming. Not that this is complete musical garbage, but come on, what use does the 21st century have for this stuff? Those chord progressions must be lifted directly from the Book of Rock Cliches. The guitar tone is buried behind oodles of reverb, the drummer is stiff as a board and struggles to keep the time throughout, and on a whole, the songs basically sound like a casual garage jam session.

I can easily appreciate good musicianship, and I like BATHORY, so recording quality isn't my biggest concern (which is a good thing here, as the sound is pretty flat and bottom-heavy). My main concern on just about any album I come across is the performance. Is this performed well? Yes and no. Disregarding the drumming for a moment, I can pick out a few cool little Satriani-inspired guitar phrases in the solos. The guitarist obviously has some talent to work with. Problem is, the musical content is so standardized it should be in a can, marked "Spam." Just like the real thing? Doubtful...but I'm yet to taste actual "Spam" (barf!)...

I guess if you are still stuck in the 80s, listening to poor imitators of the master shredders like Satriani and Paul Gilbert (Wes, did you read that?!), then maybe you might like this stuff. Be reminded again, though, that the drumming is entry-level at best! At least most shredders I've heard have solid drummers who can keep a beat!

The licks may be cool, but it's when the songs lack any "shred" of originality that an album like this becomes yet another drop in the pail. I would like to say "some interesting ideas" or something to that effect, but that would be lying, and lying is bad. Now if I may be excused, my male-modeling career awaits... (Online November 9, 2002)

Gabriel Gose



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