"What Lies Beyond Words" (Self-released; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Trying to find diversity in the solo instrumental guitar realm is harder than you might think. Originality is even harder to find and sometimes you have to settle for just the diversity.

"What Lies Beyond Words," the latest effort by newcomer Scott Allen and his Scott Allen Project, offers the kind of diversity that we at Rough Edge look for in instrumental guitar music. As expected, Joe Satriani-type surfing rockers “U Want Some of This” and “A Girl I Once Knew” are indicative of Satch’s on-going influence two decades after he burst onto the scene – I’ll never hold that against anyone. “The Grind,” “My Bad Mojo,” and “Under the Mexican Moon” are funky numbers and six-string workouts that show a solo guitarist who probably felt trapped by the pure “surfing” style so popularized by Satriani’s rise to fame. One slow burner in the form of “The Cool Breeze” indicates how Scott Allen can use a patient melody to be blues-like without actually referencing the blues. Ballads are inescapable in this genre and the trio of “We Watched the Sunrise,” “Saying Goodbye,” and “Sapphire Sky” shows how sensitivity and skillful playing can mesh well. Muscular, crushing rockers like “Eternal Optimist” and “The Clock is Ticking” give the sense that Scott Allen can abandon subtlety for something more primal.

Overall, Scott Allen’s sense of composition and wide-ranging guitar slinging skills separate him from most of the unknown and underground guitarists in the guitar-based instrumental genre. Ultimately, “What Lies Beyond Words” is fun to listen to because of the diversity – the skillful playing is a bonus.

“What Lies Beyond Words” was produced by Frank Hannon (Tesla) and Scott Allen.

Scott Allen Project is Scott Allen on all rhythm guitars, lead guitars (except where noted), and keyboards; Marty Cresci on rhythm guitar (and outro solo on “The Clock Is Ticking”), Brian Kinney on bass, and Tom Frost on drums and percussion. 

For more information visit

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.

Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.