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| 15 August 2018 | Reply

Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Let’s bring the unenlightened of you up to speed: Many moons ago Graham Greene was the hotshot guitarist in Perth bands such as Flash Harry and Ice Tiger, playing a mix of covers and original hard rockers to packed houses several times a week. Since then he’s teamed up here and there with others – notably U.S. ex-pat Jac Dalton – and has now amassed an impressive wealth of instrumental releases to his name, starting with 2006’s Leap Of Face.

Rage Of The Innocents boasts more of his stunning virtuoso guitar playing – he wasn’t labelled ‘The Satriani Of The South’ for nothing – and an epic feel – a grandiosity on a cinematic scale, begging the question, why aren’t Hollywood producers knocking down his door to score their blockbusters?

Greene’s instrumentals are of that rare breed which avoid histrionics and speed-for-its-ow-sake, and tap into something far more profound: they pulsate with life, stir our hearts and souls and remain memorable long after the end of the disc despite the absence of lyrics and catchy choruses to sing along to. This is why Greene will always be The Maestro to this reviewer – his affinity with his instrument is, if not unique, certainly as rare as hen’s teeth.

Musically, there is a Celtic thread running through the album which he introduced on recent EP releases. Wulver’s Stane (referring to a Scottish werewolf legend) is a fierce jig, while The Road To Bedrule comes steaming straight out of some imagined hard rock Outlander episode.

Thrill Of The Chase is as vibrant and exciting as the edge-of-the-seat car chase scene it should soundtrack, while Fools And Angels’ dextrous riff gives way to a succession of instrumental breaks – organ, raunchy solo – resulting in a thrilling, captivating slice of rock and roll by a master of the craft.

Only Time is slower, more acoustic, and a perfect example of mood-creation: one of the basic tenets of instrumental music, and on the title track a suitably crushing riff is nuanced by exquisite keys to form a backing track worthy of Evanescence’s best, before Greene applies a solo over the top which Mr Satriani would undoubtedly be proud of.

Kings and Queens, the only non-instrumental track on show, features Greene’s wife Donna on vocals, and as always, their collaborations are wonderful.

Captain Dangerous is a sprightly, edge-of-the-precipice number which deserves its own music video, preferably shot atop a skyscraper or the bullet train, such is its widescreen scope, and the album finishes with State of The Arc, dedicated to recently passed local music identity John Petkovich. It’s a fittingly moving tribute, heartfelt but never dipping into maudlin territory, it’s full of the joy of life rather than the sadness of loss.

Rage Of The Innocents is another stunning world class album from guitarist Graham Greene. Modern music industry be damned – any fan of superb musicianship, guitar rock and great songs needs this in their collection, and without your patronage pure artists such as Greene will cease making such wonderful music. He may not be touring stadiums around the world, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to. Buy this record.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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