Greigg Fraser
Tech Noir


4.0
excellent

Review

by Karl V.H. USER (81 Reviews)
April 12th, 2010 | 40 replies | 4,853 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: To the instrumentally impaired: this is something you will warm up to fast.

4 of 4 thought this review was well written

London, Ontario, Canada. Besides Canada and possibly Ontario, how many of you are scratching your heads as to where on earth London sits within the country? London is home to a thriving bed of musicians that span a vast amount of musical genres and yet, seem to not garner the attention they deserve. It’s hard to sit here and not be a little frustrated when artists/ guitar wizards such as Greigg Fraser get overlooked while others steal the limelight, but I feel that other people in fairly medium sized cities around Canada are feeling the same about their local talent too. Not to play the biased card because he’s from my hometown, but it can’t be stressed enough how excited someone must feel when they hear musicians with this much talent from their area of birth. Greigg Fraser’s sophomore independent release Tech Noir is entirely instrumental that rocks hard on the blues and synthy electronics as much as it does with Canadian progressive masters Rush.

The amount of area Fraser covers on this album is what many might find as a fault in terms of too much diversity. This petty argument should just be ignored for the reason that the songs are largely guitar driven with a bulky amount of synths and keyboards stretched across a strong programmed rhythm section; a consistency that plays throughout most of the album. The genre crossover should also be mentioned as well as the album dives head first into 70s psychedelic, 70s/ 80s Jeff Beck inspired guitar acrobatics and a 80s new-wave electronic sensibility that helps boost the guitar wizardry into actual songs. This is only a small generalization as each song will reveal itself to a plethora of subtle nuances within its nifty little riffs and leads.

Opener “Jump Gate” wastes no time getting down to business with a buzzing riff that is fuelled by plinkering electronics and a well thought-out series of screeching leads. What’s interesting about this track is the ominous mid-section where Fraser is allowed to tinker with his strings over some more commanding keyboard/ chord progressions. Despite the dominant upbeat feel of the intro riffs, it totally fits the direction of the song. “Superluminous” and “Bughunt” are the bigger anthems on here, pushing Fraser into some mind-scrambling progressive rock in vein with songs like “YYZ” by Rush where he lets go and explores a wide range of riff dynamics and beats that pack a punch. When Fraser wants to take it down a notch, he simply settles into some bluesy numbers courtesy of a few Steve Vai licks (“Stargazer” and “Voice of the Air”) and when the album calls for it, he tosses his hat towards the Pink Floyd camp (“Straylight” or the nimble figured acoustic ditty “Curved Ayre”). I think it would be stating the obvious at this point in time to restate how diverse Fraser really is.

However well this type of instrumental rock comes across to the audience, I think it’s worth pointing out how hard it is to do something truly original as an instrumental guitarist, but it’s even harder to create a collection of influences and tie it into your own sound. Greg Fraser shows on Tech Noir that he has no trouble with this and comes up with a pretty stellar listen for anybody interested in the finer qualities of rock instrumentation. The fact also stands that since he is from a medium sized city such as London, Ontario and plays a rather unpopular style of rock, he will go relatively unnoticed. This is a shame really because he knows how to write killer tunes without all the guitar noodling fluff that’s usually associated with instrumental rock. Oh well, at least reviews like this can lend a helping hand in the exposure of local musicians and hopefully one day expose music like this to the masses and change the minds of people who like their rock as a dumb as Nickelback.



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user ratings (1)
4
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thought I would do something different this time instead of the same old.

Listen: http://radio3.cbc.ca/#/play/band/GRIEGG-FRASER/Straylight
Buy: http://www.guitar9.com/technoir.html

Digging: Triptykon - Melana Chasmata

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2010



16025 Comments


[IMG]http://img208.imageshack.us/img208/7080/ontarioh.jpg[/IMG]

I found London, Karl.

Great review.

Digging: Katatonia - Kocytean

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


I liked the review, but this definitely doesn't sound like something that would hold my interest.

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very creative Crysis.

Willie, this isn't Blotted Science or anything but check out the link provided above and give him a try.

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


I knew you were going to say that (maybe not the Blotted Science part).

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2010



16025 Comments


I try. Good to see you supporting your local scene, people need to more often.

Relinquished
April 12th 2010



22423 Comments


Will this be your last?

Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't want to say it will be my last review on here because you never know what the future holds. Currently, work and major change in lifestyle is slowly decreasing my time around here. For the time being, I will say that it will be a long break. With the current influx of new kids, I don't think I will be missed too much anyways. PtC is my new home but I will always hold a special place in my heart for Sputnik.

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


Currently, work and major change in lifestyle is slowly decreasing my time around here.
Change in lifestyle? Are you going to start batting for the other team or something?

Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ummmmmm if you're refering to what I think I am, no I don't subscribe to buttsex hahahaha. I do have a new girlfriend (the first "real" one in a long time) but that's not the only major lifestyle change for me. I plan on getting my landscape design/ build/ consultation firm off the ground and it's going to kill me in the end, which leaves me little time to write lengthy stuff like this. I like the blog because I can post my thoughts quickly (short and sweet)..

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


Ok, no buttdarts. Ha ha. So, you're leaving this in order to make something of yourself and potentially get laid by a "real" girl... good priorities.

Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I will still be around ; ). I never said I was leaving, just explaining my absence. I mean, there are still a ton of people I love on this site...*hint *hint!

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


Ha ha. See, I already have the decent job part down (where do you think I am when I'm on here???). So, don't disappear forever. Do I have a link to this blog... is that where the Tiamat thing was?

Wizard
April 12th 2010



18792 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes it is! http://pervertthechurch.blogspot.com/

I would never dream of disappearing forever. In fact, my new gf actually enjoys seeing what I do on this site and on my blog. She's definitely a keeper!

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


Ha ha. Mine doesn't really care what I do here, hates 99% of my music and thinks video games are crap (but is addicted to Sims 3) and she ended up being a keeper anyway -- how does that work?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 12th 2010



30316 Comments


Bro bonding in here

Nice review Wiz, be sad to see you go (even if its not a permanent thing)

Digging: L'Orange - The Orchid Days

TheSpirit
April 12th 2010



16666 Comments


Awesome review as usual. My girlfriend makes fun of me for being in love this site and PtC. But anyway i'm glad to know i'll see be able to keep in constant touch with you via PtC. I plan on starting to make some cool things to it whence i'm done doing stuff for school in the next few weeks.





Digging: Sexdrome - Grown Younger

Relinquished
April 12th 2010



22423 Comments


My girfriend is talking about engagement and moving to Sweden. So if I'm gone for a long while, either it means I'm leaving Florida (sorry Balls) or I'm eaten by wolves.

Willie
Moderator
April 12th 2010



15778 Comments


Good luck with that. Getting married and taken out of your home town???

Relinquished
April 12th 2010



22423 Comments


Ehh it was our decision, we can't stand living in Florida that much anymore.



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