Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Gods of Indie Guitar 2011

There are many talented guitarists out there. No matter where you live, you probably know someone who has an outstanding playing style, someone who could give other guitarists a run for their money. If there was only a way to prove who was the best guitarist on the planet. With that thought in mind, a contest was devised that gave guitarists around the world the chance to show what they can do. That contest is known as Gods of Indie Guitar.

With Gods of Indie Guitar, guitarists compete with other guitarists to ultimately win the contest. And because people have developed their playing styles while playing many different genres of music, the contest is not based upon music genres but upon playing abilities and techniques. Along with competing to be named as “Overall Winner,” people compete to win the other categories of Acoustic, Jazz/Blues, and Rhythm.

Recently, over a thousand entries were selected to compete in the Gods of Indie Guitar contest. With competitors from all over the planet, they all bring their own influences with them, adding even more elements to the diversity of the music. The winners of the recent Gods of Indie Guitar contest were taken and placed on the newly-released Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 CD.

Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 contains 17 tracks by 16 artists. And like the contest itself, the CD is full of many different music genres and styles of playing.

The CD begins with the Overall Winners category. The three finalists that ended up being the top finishers are: GOLD- Shouse “Alone on the Sun,” SILVER- Magic Red “Nothing but Time,” and BRONZE- The RoboDrum “String Theory”.  Both Shouse and Magic Red are rock guitarists who have similar playing styles, and it is easy to see why the two musicians ended up as the top 2 finishers of the contest as they obviously have more than ample knowledge of how to play the guitar, as well as knowledge in composition.  The RoboDrum offers a track of guitar-based blues music for the twenty-first century.

Gods of Indie Guitar 2011 continues with the Acoustic Winners category. The GOLD place winner Keegan McClellan offers an energetic song entitled “Kill the Prophets” that showcases his different approaches to playing the guitar on one track. The SILVER place winner Krista Parrish shows off her finger picking style on her song “Mexico,” one of the best tracks on the release, in my opinion. Chris Dunnett places third in the Acoustic Winners category with his song “El Samuraichi.” The Spanish-influenced song features Dunnett showing off his flamenco-style playing. The Acoustic Winners category is probably the most impressive category, as you really get to hear the guitarists’ playing techniques.

The next category on the CD is Jazz/Blues Winners. The GOLD place winner for this category is The RoboDrum, the only artist who ended up with two tracks on the contest CD. The song “Still Rainin’” is a solid contemporary blues track that gives the listener a chance to hear what today’s blues music could sound like. Dee Brown’s SILVER place track “True Reality” is one of the best jazz compositions I’ve heard in a long time. For the BRONZE place track, Brett Hardwick’s song “Ain’t Love a Bitch” is a song that features a classic blues feeling to the music.

The Gods of Indie Guitar contest is for guitarists to show their talents on the guitar. And while the contest is based around an instrument, that doesn’t mean that every song submitted has to be instrumental. For musicians who are not writers of instrumental music, the Rhythm category allows for these musicians to take part in the category as well, as long as the song submitted shows off the playing of the guitarist.

The GOLD place winner for the Rhythm Winners category is “She’s Like That With Everyone” by Modern American Theatre. The song has one of the most infectious melodies of any of the songs on the CD. And the reason it won the category is the amazing picking of the guitar on the track. The SILVER place winner Pamela Means offers a folk song that also features some amazing guitar playing. The BRONZE place winner is the heavy metal band Submission Red with their song “Dirty Scene”.

The CD finishes up with the unofficial category of Overall finalists. These four tracks are from contestants that didn’t win any of the categories. These are the songs that really are too good to ignore even though they didn’t win. “Shizzle” from Desecrate is a really good instrumental heavy metal track. The Morning Life’s track of “3 Weeks Later” is a really solid instrumental acoustic track that is reminiscent of the New Age band Wind Machine. The final three artists on the CD hail from outside of the USA. Canada’s Adrian Raso submitted the song “Django,” a track that has a definite gypsy feeling to the music. Another Canadian artist, Laganza, provides a great track of rock music called “Movin’ Groovin’.” And Greece’s Phase Reverse blends Heavy Metal, Southern Rock, Blues and many other influences into their song entitled “Cross to Bear”.

The Gods of Indie Rock 2011 CD has a lot to offer: If you like rock, you’ll find plenty to choose from. If you like acoustic music, there are three fine specimens included on the disc. If you are a fan of blues/jazz music, you’ll find some fine music to suit your tastes. The many different styles of music on the CD keep the listener entertained as the music continually changes directions. Gods of Indie Rock 2011 is an album you should check out if you like many different styles of music and want to find some of the best unsigned talent out there right now.