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Phil Mercy: Fear of Fantastic Flight

Album Notes

This is a one-man show of guitars coursing deftly through synth mazes and sophisticated synth drum lines. Mercy tired of mainstream music doldrums and relaxed creatively in his studio, and before he knew it, he discovered the joys of all-instrumental rock without the irritating chaff of commercialism. This CD is the result of a musician not selling out. For this alone his efforts are to be praised. Sum this release up as having fun doing your own thing. The musicianship is excellent -- compositions are "driving tunes" of guitar rock. "Aliens Wear Boots" and "Fear of Fantastic Flight" are Satrianic riffs over Argent/ELP/Tarkus analog-ish keys and time signature change-ups ample enough to keep things lively. "Symphony" is an intriguing little ballad of Brian May-meets-Satriani over Bo Hansson keys in a Happy the Man mode. "Tears" is a building, slow-moving ballad with more Satriani voicing and a tinge of Eric Johnson. "Pump II" does recall Jeff Beck trading licks with Jan Hammer, but Mercy still sounds more like Satriani. Well, at last, in "Dance of the Aliens," you get to hear a tad of amphetamine jazz-rock fusion guitar pursuing manic keys again in the Tarkus mode. It drops down to second gear for an extended but mellow-to-peppy synth solo sounding very '70s. "Khaa Bhut" is the final piece with a Steve Morse/Al Di Meola/Satriani melodic feel meeting Chick Corea, circa Romantic Warrior, again using that very familiar Not of This Earth gestalt. You may get a whiff of Ken Watson in this one. If you're into early Satriani, then have Mercy. ~ John W. Patterson


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