"Wyrd" (Splinterhead Productions)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

From the ashes of his previous bands Nero and Spectrum, Greg Rapaport has set forth with his solo material in the form of nine instrumentals that more than adequately show his prowess on the guitar.

"11th Portal," the first track, is reminiscent of Vinnie Moore's style and command of the guitar. The second track, "Madah," has a sort of prog-jazz sound that makes me realize what Steely Dan would sound like if they were shredders instead of mild urban jazz rockers. Rapaport's progressive influences are proudly displayed on "The Unconscience" when he zips through some ripping lead guitar lines over prog-like progressions. "Bugjuice" is a crisp number where the bass and drums play just as important a role in the song as the guitar. "Powderburn" ebbs and flows with heavy and quiet moments like a lot of songs out there these days in the instrumental realm, but it's Rapaport's sense of rhythm and timing that make this song stand out. The other four songs I haven't mentioned by name are as equally daring and interesting which is something that I can't say about a lot of bands or instrumental artists these days.

Rapaport uses a seven-string guitar to really get a heavy, low sound on most of his tracks that emphasize funk rather than tried-and-true rock rhythms. Rapaport's lead and rhythm work are satisfying at all turns. 

I, for one, am very much looking forward to hearing more of Greg Rapaport's work. The rest of you who enjoy the work of Chris Poland, Confusion, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani's heavier moments will all enjoy Greg Rapaport's impressive display of skills and songwriting chops.

Greg Rapaport plays everything on "Wyrd" and produced the disc in his own home-studio. "Wyrd" has a bold, clear production that makes it a listening pleasure.

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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 2002 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.