"Flesh Gordon" (Self-produced; 2001)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Usually I like my hot-shot guitarists to be instrumentalists. Then along comes Flesh Gordon with a number of guitar-based hard rock tracks that run the gamut from '70s classic rockers to more modern guitar hero inspired songs.

"Circle Of Sin" has a Vinnie Moore-ish sound circa "Meltdown" -- loud and crunchy rhythm guitars! "Passion & Pleasure" has two things going for it: cool Arabian melodies and a vocal sound like Mark Lanegan mixed in with Bono-ish inflections (really!), but doesn't sound too out of place on this song. "Wildcat" is a funky rocker that serves as the album's biggest departure without being too unlike the rest of his material. "Dark Visions" has a classic rock vibe to it with a sinister edge lacking in most hard rock these days -- if memory serves me correctly it sounds like Alice Cooper. "Rockit Baby" has a Kiss/Ted Nugent balls-out rock vibe with some sexually charged lyrics that you'd fully expect the Nuge to be belting out in the late '70s/early '80s in front of a huge festival crowd. "Eternal Live" sounds like a contradiction as it has a positive message wrapped up in a haunting melody. "Beyond The Door" mixes Finnish sounding melodies with U.F.O.-like Schenker-isms in a near-prog rock outer shell.

The solos are brief, tasty, and appropriate. Nothing too fancy, yet nothing too simple. Flesh Gordon's skills as a guitarist and soloist are amply evident even if not they're not jaw-dropping.

The songs are a bit long -- I would have much preferred each track had about 40 to 70 seconds cut off. Additionally, like most albums where one person performs all instruments and vocals, the overall dynamic is lacking a bit in that unmistakable energy that usually comes from a group of unique individuals creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

"Flesh Gordon" was produced by Art Gordon. The production isn't too polished which gives the disc a gritty and tough-as-nails feel to it.

Flesh Gordon is Art Gordon. As noted early Art Gordon plays all instruments.

For more information visit http://www30.brinkster.com/fleshgordon

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:20 -0400.