Plastic Pistol by Lou Rone
Available at a good download site near you!
It’s a couple of years since I last got my mitts on a CD by this amazing multi-instrumentalist. I reviewed it and recommended it without hesitation [link to review of Lou Rone ‘Alone’] because the guy clearly knows how to play the guitar and isn’t afraid to let his music speak for itself – no messing with trite or pathetic lyrics - just plain straight down-the-line axe murder!
So I was excited to see what he’d followed that gem up with and I’m pleased to announce it’s another killer.
Surprisingly, the opening track does the reverse of a seventies record by Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. In those days, many people could not understand why anyone should want to use synthesisers to emulate an electric guitar when the real thing was to hand and the sound from which was so much more ‘authentic.’ Well, Lou manages to make his guitar sound just like a seventies synthesiser on track 1, Rajah Man and very authentic it sounds too! This theme is further explored on track 8 ‘Why?’ where I think Lou actually uses synths to augment his wonderful wailing guitar sounds in a pleading search for answers to life’s mysteries. I don’t want to give the impression that the whole album is a mere reproduction of seventies synth sounds though. It’s not. Lou takes his music into many realms on this CD. There’s plenty of hard Rock/Metal to be had here – with wailing and screaming weapons of mass destruction, as well as the expected Hendrix style acid trips into Electric Ladyland. ‘Tired Lady Blues’ is a classic piece of guitar god posing which will have air-guitarists strutting around their bedrooms. There are more thoughtful moments giving a chance to chill such as Track 6, ‘Tinsel Drops’ and Track 9 – a beautiful tribute to George Harrison entitled ‘Bangalore’, takes us flying on a magical mystery tour of the sub-continent, where we revisit the sitar and veena flavoured world of Sergeant Pepper. The closing offering ‘Where Love is Here’ is a wonderful jazz excursion into yet another groove environment.
I’ve said elsewhere that Lou’s skill is in wringing every last bit of emotion from his instrument – and this is truly a record for lovers of the guitar and what can be done with it in the hands of a virtuoso. The guitar has benefitted from something of a revival in the last few years with so much guitar based pop hitting the charts, but there is a dearth of highly skilled instrumentalists to take the sound far beyond the rhythmic strumming and thrashing of the everyday. What the youngsters need is a hero who will open their minds to the infinite possibilities the instrument has to offer. Sure, many of the surviving exponents from the previous golden age are still around but let’s face it, most of them [with the possible exception of Prince] are sitting back on their laurels, bathing in past glories and most of what they have to offer are merely historic reference points.
I feel Lou – although no Spring Chicken himself [sorry Lou!] – is a new name, with new ideas that budding guitar worshippers could latch onto and make an icon of the New Guitar Age. Check out his Twenty-First Century Sounds by downloading this album and help the next generation discover the forgotten secrets of the world’s most important rock instrument.