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Music Review: Geoff Tyson – Slow Mad Descent

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Geoff Tyson is an American record producer and musician currently living in Prague. Those of you in the habit of reading the small print on albums may recognise his name from his days with T-Ride, whose complex instrumental metal was widely acclaimed if not widely bought.

Still, they got to tour the world with Joe Satriani and White Zombie amongst others before going their separate ways. Then it was a stint with Snake River Conspiracy before he formed Stimulator with singer Susan Hyatt. They managed to place a pile of songs in movies and TV shows, as well as touring with Duran Duran and performing on the Van’s Warped Tour. But that didn’t work out either, and now Geoff is plying his trade as a one man band with this debut solo album.

As a former student of Joe Satriani you might have expected him to head down the widdle road, but that’s not his way. Instead, he’s taken an eclectic route through a vast array of rock genres, from heavy metal to country rock and all points in between. Geoff himself has described it as “Prince meets Pink Floyd. It has a good feeling. It’s guitar-driven rock you can listen to while you’re shagging.” Well, maybe not, but you can’t blame a man for giving it the hard sell.

Actually, the Pink Floyd reference isn’t that far off when you take a listen to tunes like “RiverBleue,” where the peeling, melodic guitar lines are very David Gilmour. Then he heads off into Tea Party territory on the Middle Eastern patterned “Goodnight” before going power pop on “The Urge.” As I said, eclectic, although you’ll struggle to find any parallels to Prince. Although he does play all the instruments on the album, so I suppose that does count.

The album is slow to get going as the first couple of tracks are very post grunge, and not a million miles away from the likes of Puddle of Mudd and 3 Doors Down, which isn’t a recommendation in my book. To be fair he admits that “Polyrhythm” is a deliberate attempt to write a hit single, replete with erotic music video, so I’ll let that one slide. For me the album really begins with the short instrumental “Reminders,” and from then on in, it’s good stuff. Even the Van Halen cover, “Mean Street,” from their less than good Fair Warning album, is done here in an almost Stone Temple Pilots fashion.

It’s a really good album but it may fall between the two stools of pop and prog, stools that tend to keep well apart from each other. Which would be a real shame as Geoff Tyson has done himself proud here.

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About Stuart A Hamilton

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    T-Ride, whose complex instrumental metal was widely acclaimed if not widely bought.

    *Smirk*… You’re kidding, Right?! T-Ride was neither metal nor complex or instrumental! T-Ride never made it because we didn’t need another Extreme or Ratt/Winger ripp-off mixed w/ Milli Vanilli [To top it off].

    *Note* If you want complex Metal that came out in the 90’s, check out Atheist,Dream Theater,Cynic,etc…

  • anon

    like queen def leppard and van halen mixed up with some groovin funk – I thought T-Ride was great and hoped for a second cd.
    i would listen to jellyfish,saigon kick, king’s x, dream theater, dread zeppelin, faith no more,rhcp and always hoped to find cool bands who could bring their own original sound to the party.
    i also grew up listening to van halen from the first album on and saw all their shows from vhII-1984. My favourite vh album is fair warning- so this critic just wasn’t there man,
    and i don’t think he truly can appreciate music at all if he calls fw vh’s worst.