4 of 4 thought this review was well written::Joe Satriani::Surfing With the Alien::
Joe Satriani, for everyone who knows who he is, is one of the most amazing guitarists ever. Up to par with Hendrix and Jeff Beck, Satriani has created his own style of guitar, and has experimented with many different sounds and beats. Surfing With the Alien
is Satriani's second album, following Not of this Earth
. The album contains various styles of rock, from the fast paced riff-machines like “Surfing with the Alien" and “Satch Boogie" to the slower, melodic “Echo"-type songs. A very impressive showcase for this unbelievable beast of a guitar player.
Surfing with the Alien (4:25)
: The title track. When you say “shredding the guitar" you have got to be talking about this song. It opens up with a simplistic beat, keeps steady through, and then hits you with this crazy guitar work that can only impress. The drums do a nice job of helping Joe and the beat along. I love the way Joe tunes his guitar because every beat you hear sounds perfect and every time you hear him play, you know its him. This song will not disappoint. One of his best, and rightfully the title track.
Ice 9 (4:00)
: The song starts off with some nice, simple bass work and a real laid back guitar. He builds very slowly and leads into this amazing guitar solo. The drums are all the same simplistic beat with a few tom/cymbal fills here and there. The song never really changes pace. However, although in its simplistic nature, Joe still manages to make the song memorable. A really nice song to help you cool off from the first track. And it fades to silence bringing us to...
Crushing Day (5:14)
: Really nice intro to this song. It leads you to think that its just gonna break into some HEAVY riff action, but no. It come to this really nice beat, then goes back to the intro guitar backed by some drums. It follows the same formula as “Ice 9
", whereas the same beat is repeated with the guitar, including a few solo's here and there and the same basic drum beat to match it. But it is still a great track.
Always With Me, Always With You (3:22)
: A really nice slower song. The guitars are almost metal-worthy, but they are done really lightly and it makes a beautiful sound. The bass is really great here and there is clapping in the background. Some nice finger-tap work from Joe makes for some nice innovative beats. The only problem i have with this song is that it is not long enough. Very beautiful song.
Satch Boogie (3:13)
: A big change of pace here. This song is much faster and much more like the rockin' Joe Satriani we know. It is a really nice song, taken by his nickname. A great hi-hat open with the drums and leads into some really great tom fills. Joe goes with some really great, fast, guitar riffs and leads into a really fast and really funky guitar solo type deal. It gets a little slower with some real nice finger-tap work and then leads back into the same intro beat. Then it ends with a nice Bamp-Bamp-Baah. Great song to listen to.
Hill of the Skull (1:48)
: Its this really cryptic sounding guitar. Almost like a prolonged intro to a death metal song. Although this one, like a few other songs on the album is repetitive, it shows no real talent. Especially for being someone like Joe Satriani. Not the most impressive, but not bad. We just expect a little more.
: This song is absolutely fantastic. This song is named circles because it has a cycle. It starts with this really gentle, beautiful guitar tune with some nice backing drum work. It keeps this up for a little bit and then just bursts into a ROCKING guitar riff. The transition is seamless. He shreds some more on the guitar with some hard drums, and some nice whammy effects. It builds toward the end just to go back into the same, beautiful beat from the beginning. It ends through a fade, and cuts out. Again, seamless transition. This is definitely one of the better songs on the album, and my personal favorite.
Lords of Karma (4:48)
: A step back from the usual rock that Satch does. This is much more of an eastern influenced rock. A simple beat with some good drumming. It is a really nice beat throughout and eventually leads to a really nice little breakdown including some excellent guitar freestyle and a drum fill. Eventually we get to the eastern highlight with nothing but the (I have no idea how to explain this) middle eastern “high note pluck." Afterwards there is some more nice guitar work with some excellent harmonized tones. Another really great track
: This track defines “amazing." Throughout the whole song, all it is, is finger tapping. Its just a simple beat repeated twice then it breaks down into this really fast, kick a-- beat. It seems reasonable that this track is the shortest because it must be tiring for the fingers to do this for any longer than a minute. An amazing song that really shows his ability to work a guitar in more than just the rockin' way that we all love.
: A really nice intro is here followed by some mellow guitar beats. The drums are as always, simple but effective as the beat kicks up a little. There is not too much to say about this track that hasn't been said before. It repeats the formula of repeating the same beat over again with some fantastic guitar solo's along the way. The song really emphasizes on the bass more than anything. What a great way to end the album.
So all in all, Satriani is one of the greatest guitarists of our time. He has mastered the art of playing the guitar. You would think that someone this talented would've been playing almost all his life, but no. He began playing at the age of 14. And this album, which ranked number 29 on the “Billboard Top 200"
in 1988, shows that you don't have to play a lifetime to show a lifetime's worth of practice. Anybody who is into instrumental rock, or just plain riff mastery, should pick this album up right away. No, seriously. Do it. Look on Amazon or something.
Joe Satriani is:
Joe Satriani - Guitars
Jeff Campitelli - Drums
Matt Bissonette - Bass
Galen Henson - Additional Guitar