Review Summary: GET OUT OF MY YARD YOU DAMN KIDS
Instrumental albums by shred guitarists are difficult to review. It’s hard to say a lot about an album with no singing and no lyrics. So for the next few minutes I guess I’ll just talk about how freakin’ cool this album is.
Paul Gilbert, formerly of Racer X and Mr. Big, is a superb guitarist. While he certainly has the raw talent to wank senselessly for three minutes like Yngwie Malmsteen, his music has a certain tastefulness to it. His sense of rhythm coupled with playing that never goes too over-the-top makes for a very nice listen. What sets Gilbert apart from other shredders is the fact that he knows when to hold back. His talent is showcased far better in the slow, melodic “Marine Layer” than in the shredding intro “Get Out of My Yard.” In a genre where everyone wants to show off how fast they can play, it’s great to hear someone who realizes that melody and rhythm are far more important than playing at ninety miles an hour (granted, Gilbert doesn’t have anything to prove anymore, but it’s the principle that counts, right?).
I’m a firm believer that shred albums shouldn’t have more than 10 songs on them. This is where Get Out of My Yard fails. With fourteen regular songs and one bonus track that clock in at around fifty minutes, the album is just too long. In any other genre, a fifty minute album is standard, but when the only things you’re gonna be hearing for an hour are guitar and drums, it tends to become boring and drag on. There isn’t anything wrong with the songs per se, but when you get to around the eleventh track, you start to wonder when the album is going to end.
Other than the length of the album, there really isn’t much wrong with it. Most songs are a pleasure to listen to, with only a few exceptions. “Marine Layer” is a very soothing and beautiful song that showcases Gilbert’s acoustic skills. “Haydn Symphony No. 88 Finale” is probably the coolest guitar song I’ve ever heard. It’s basically three and a half minutes of Gilbert shredding through a Haydn symphony. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then you’re probably messed up in the head. “Three E’s for Edward” isn’t as cool as “Haydn Symphony” but it’s certainly a contender. For this song, Gilbert took all the strings off his acoustic except for the two E strings and the D string. He tuned the D string to E, so his guitar basically only had three E strings. It’s pretty amazing to hear what he can do with only three strings. He rips out some sweet riffs as well as the standard shredding, which is all the more amazing because, I mean c’mon, he’s using three strings
Well there isn’t much more to say about Paul Gilbert’s latest solo album Get Out of My Yard. It’s got everything you would expect from the master of shred, as well as some unexpected treats. If you’re a child of the eighties who just can’t get enough of Racer X then this is album is for you. From the insane sweeping of the title track to the melodic, bluesy “Full Tank” to the just plain coolness of “Three E’s for Edward,” Paul Gilbert is sure to satisfy any fan of shred as well as anyone who wants to hear the instrument taken to a whole new level.