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Monthly Archives: September 2011

REVIEW: Parker Maxx Fly DF524

There’s a perception that Parker’s designs have always been divisive: either you love them or you hate them. That’s not surprising, since they’re very futuristic and ergonomic – not traits you usually associate with a type of instrument whose most popular variants are still models designed almost 60 years ago. But there are plenty of players who sit on the fence when it comes to Parker too. The MaxxFly series is for them: futuristic enough to express the adventurous Parker spirit, but with plenty of concessions for those who prefer a more traditional feel too.

The MaxxFly DF824 is made of a solid alder body with a polyurethane finish, and the upper horn is more traditional compared to the radical Parker Fly design – although I kind of miss having the upper horn echo the curve of the headstock, to be honest. I dig the original Fly. The bridge is Parker’s own tremolo design, which pivots on ball bearings and has a removable but comfortable-feeling spongey bar tip. The bar itself extends a little bit further than most other guitars, and the extra pivot power helps to maintain a smooth feel in operation. It also positions the bar for some interesting effects such as tapping while operating the bar.

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Ibanez Premium 7-string!

Now, you guys/girls know I’m an Ibanez geek, right? And you know I’m an avowed seven-stringer slinger. And you might remember that I was well impressed by the Ibanez Premium series launched at NAMM this year.

Well…

BAM.

http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-RG927QM

That’s the RG927QM, my friend. Five-piece maple/walnut neck, bound rosewood fretboard, offset dot inlays, American basswood body with quilted maple top, Edge Zero II-Z bridge, DiMarzio IBZ-7N and IBZ-7B pickups, Red Desert finish.

Ooooh yeah.

Calling Aussie Carvin Legacy owners

Hey, anyone in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne who owns a Carvin Legacy combo, can you contact me ASAP? My email is iheartguitarblog AT gmail.com – if you can help out it’ll totally be worth your while.

The Taylor Project – progress report

Hey! So my Taylor SolidBody has begun its journey from disparate bits of wood and metal into becoming an actual guitar! The guitar has been shaped and painted, and the pickup/electronics cavity has been routed. Next up: gloss, neck pocketing, electronics, etc., etc. And before long it’ll look like this!

But for now, it looks like this.

INTERVIEW: Joe Satriani on Chickenfoot III

Chickenfoot III. You know the joke by now: the band feels so comfortable in what they’re doing that they feel like they stepped over the difficult second album and went straight to the third. The band – Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith – are indeed in fine form on the newly-released album. It still sounds like the Chickenfoot who whipped up such a frenzy with their 2009 debut, but it’s at once more relaxed and more intense, heavier and more detailed. 

The first thing that really struck me about this album was that there’s a really identifiable Chickenfoot sound. It doesn’t sound like a Joe Satriani album, it doesn’t sound like a Sammy Hagar album.

That’s great, I’m so happy to hear you say that. That’s something that I’ve always felt that we were very lucky to naturally stumble upon. But we didn’t want to overthink it or intellectualise it. Just do it naturally and let it happen.

This album is almost like an essay on the right hand of Joe Satriani – there’s a lot of great rhythm stuff going on. 

As I was writing the demos for this record I was once again conscious of trying to not hold back and to use as much as I had to flesh out a lot of the songs. It’s a funny thing, because when we’re away, we’ll maybe be taking a flight somewhere and we’ll be talking about what kind of songs we like as a band, and that’s one thing, but when we get together to play there’s really no time for discussion or any of that stuff. We basically have to record very quickly, and everybody has to bring all their stuff to the table and just do it. And so I hate to talk about it and give the wrong impression and that we thought about it, because we didn’t, but I all I can tell you is that I prepared for the experience by making sure that everything I knew how to do was fresh on my fingers and ready to be exploited at a moment’s notice. So I like to say that I’ve taken all the good stuff that I’ve ever heard from any guitar player and I’ve tried to learn it and to use it and to understand it. So a lot of my roots come out when I’m making a Chickenfoot record.

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Styx re-records Styx, Damn Yankees classics

I kinda like the idea of bands re-recording old material, as long as they don’t pull a boner and delete the original versions from the catalog like that Ozzy debacle from a while ago. Styx seem to agree, recording new versions of various classic tracks by both Styx and Tommy Shaw’s ‘other band,’ Damn Yankees. And there’s a new song included as well. Cool!

PRESS RELEASE

EAGLE TO RELEASE NEWLY-RECORDED CAREER-SPANNING STYX OVERVIEW, REGENERATION, VOLUME I & II 

2-CD Package Available For The First Time On October 4

Styx will have its entire career encapsulated within the 16 tracks of Regeneration, Volume I & II on a double-disc to be released via Eagle Rock Entertainment on October 4.

With over 30 million records sold in North America alone, Styx is one of the most beloved rock bands on the planet. Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Chuck Panozzo, Lawrence Gowan, Ricky Phillips and Todd Sucherman have been together longer than any other lineup in the band’s 40-year existence.

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ZZ Top tribute album with Mastodon, Coheed, Duff and more!

Now this is cool – a star-studded tribute album to the mighty ZZ Top. And check out that list of artists – Mastodon, Duff McKagan, Coheed & Cambria, Wolfmother, Filter and more. Awesome.

PRESS RELEASE

AN ECLECTIC COLLECTION OF MAJOR ARTISTS PAY HOMAGE TO ZZ TOP ON NEW ALBUM OUT OCTOBER 11

The music and legacy of ZZ TOP - “That Little ol’ Band from Texas,” that has been part of the world’s musical landscape for over 40 years – will be celebrated with the October 11th release of A TRIBUTE FROM FRIENDS.

The album, to be released by Show Dog-Universal Music, features 11 classicZZ Top songs interpreted by top-flight artists working in a broad range of musical genres.  All of the album’s tracks have been newly recorded, specifically for the project. These include Filter’s performance of “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ take on “Tush,” as well asWyclef Jean’s “Rough Boy,” “Legs” from Nickelback and Wolfmother’s interpretation of “Cheap Sunglasses.”

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Dom Lawson’s Iron Sandwich


Metal Hammer – Dom’s Iron Sandwich 001 – Venom ‘Fallen Angels’ on MUZU.TV

Check out Dom Iron Sandwich, a new daily video album review thingie by my favourite Metal Hammer writererer, Dom Lawson. Above is the first instalment, in which he talks about the new album by Venom. Keep yer eye on Metal Hammer for more.

Follow Dom on Twitter here.

REVIEW: Ernie Ball Music Man Luke True Gold


Steve Lukather is unquestionably one of the world’s finest guitarists, from his work with Toto to his countless studio sessions and his brilliant solo work. (He’s also a great interview and a hilarious dude). Luke’s guitar requirements are quite demanding and he swears by his Ernie Ball Music Man signature models. The Limited Edition BFR (Ball Family Reserve) True Gold is only available to dealers within EBMM’s Premier Dealer Network, a select international group of high-end retailers with access to special instruments. This guitar is limited to only 200 instruments, each hand-signed by Lukather himself. The thing abut Premier Dealer Network instruments is you really have to be on the ball (pun not intended but gleefully acknowledged) when it comes to ordering one before they’re all snapped up, but each instrument made available to the Premier Dealer Network is a fine showcase of EBMM’s craftsmanship and designs. For instance, this BFR Luke True Gold gives you a great overview of the Luke model as a series, as well as what you can expect from an instrument sold through the exclusive Premier Dealer Network. So if they’re all sold out by the time you scape together the cash, despair not – use this review as a guide to what to expect from a Premier Dealer Network instrument.

The Luke True Gold’s body is made of alder, with a high-gloss polyester finish bringing out the awesomeness of the finish. The bridge is the standard Music Man floating two-point fulcrum design, made of hardened steel with bent steel saddles. The tuners are Schaller M6-IND locking models. Unlike the first incarnation of the Luke model many years ago, there’s no locking trem: these days Luke feels that a vintage style tremolo bridge and locking tuners are more than stable enough for his whammy needs.

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James Hetfield is not a table

If you’re like me, you’re probably confused – really confused – by “The View,” the new song by Metallica and Lou Reed, which I ranted about yesterday.

One of the most confusing things for me is Hetfield’s claim during the song that he is a table. You can hear this bizarre assertion towards the end of the song.

Now, I have seen James Hetfield on multiple occasions from multiple perspectives and distances, and I can assure you, he is not a table.

See this?

This is James Hetfield. Note: two legs.

See this?

It is an Ikea table. Five legs. Note that it does not shout out “I am a person! I am a person!”

This is an Ikea table too.

It only has one leg, but it’s still a table. Tables generally require at least one leg, usually three or four (more if it’s very large), but never two.I don’t know of any tables that have only two legs.

Now, see if you can spot which one of these is not a table. You may refer back to the images above if you need to. Note: I’ve included another table in this image just to see if you’re on your toes.

So. James Heftield. Not table. Have we got that settled? Good. As you were.

Metallica, you’re on notice

Okay, I’ve had enough. Metallica, you’re on notice.

Have you guys heard the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration? A full song, “The View,” has made it online. And it’s awful.

I’m a Metallica fan. I like Lou Reed. Even saw him live once and it was a great gig. I was looking forward to Lulu. But this song is simply not good enough, and while it’s not fair to judge an entire album on one song, if this is in any way indicative of how the album is mixed it’ll be yet another PR disaster.

Let’s have a look at the last 20 years of Metallica.

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New Chris Brooks CD!

Hey! Head over to chrisbrooks.com or iTunes and get Chris Brooks’s new CD, The Axis Of All Things! I’ll post a review of the CD soon.

Chris is a ridiculously, offensively talented guitarist. Here’s a bit of info from his site (and you can check him out on Facebook too):

Chris Brooks is an Australian guitar player, recording artist, teacher and Suhr Guitarsartist based in Sydney, Australia.

With his debut solo album, ‘The Master Plan’, Chris delivered an exciting and diverse instrumental release. Forming a tapestry of melodic themes, soaring solos and fiery excursions in rock, progressive metal and rock-fusion, ‘The Master Plan’ is a must have album for fans of dazzling guitar work, imaginative songwriting, and creative arrangements. Hear for yourself why the word about Chris Brooks is spreading!

Chris’ new album “The Axis of All Things” comes out September 25, 2011!

Chris has recorded or played live with members of Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force,Black Sabbath / Heaven & Hell, LORD, Steve Paoli’s War Machine, Lana Lane, Age of Nemesis, and been featured in major magazines like Burrn!, Metal Hammer, Sweden Rock and Young Guitar. Chris most recently appears on LORD’s “Set in Stone” album.

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Peter Hodgson Hi! I'm Peter Hodgson. I write for Gibson.com, Australian Guitar, Australian Musician, Mixdown Magazine (including my instructional column, 'Unleash Your Inner Rock God,' which has been running since 2007), BluntBeat (including their weekly hard rock/metal column Crunch) and The Brag. And I'm Assistant Social Coordinator with Seymour Duncan. I've been playing guitar since I was 8 years old, and I've been writing for magazines since I was 18. I've also worked as a guitar teacher (up to 50 students a week), a setup tech, a newspaper editor, and I've also dabbled in radio a little bit. I live in Melbourne, Australia, and my hobbies include drinking way too much coffee, and eating way too much Mexican food. You can check out my guitar playing at Bandcamp or on YouTube, and feel free to email me at iheartguitarblog@gmail.com

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