If my count is right, this is Greg Howe's tenth solo, and it's shred-time in America again, ladeez 'n gentz. One of countless axehandlers inspired by Eddie Van Halen (and who wasn't?), Howe got the message full and clear, emerging in 1988 as a player also possessing definite Holdsworthian touches, an almost impossible gent to emulate. Greg gained in stature and has been chosen to sit in with such notables as Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. However, almost no one takes notice of his monster collaboration with the new Keith Emerson, Vitaly Kupric, on '97's High Definition release, a pulse-pounding tour de force of unbelievable riffery that'll take your head off at the shoulders. Here, on Sound Proof, Howe's hellamore funky (catch the version of Stevie Wonder's Tell Me Something Good), dipping into early Mother's Finest territory for sheer force and outlandishly kickin' rock, then catching the same vibe Jeff Beck made immortal in the Orange, Rough and Ready, and Blow by Blow LPs.
Feel like a dexedrine samba? Reunion is your cuppa tea, liberally spiked and smokin', including David Cook's ultra-cool piano (with keyboards throughout the entire slab). Like the tech metal of Shrapnel and Guitar Recordings CDs? This blazing disc is stuffed to the eyeballs with it. Do ya swoon over noisemongering? Howe's not intimated by that in the least and colors up his cuts with healthy dosages, kinda like yer minimum daily requirement of melodic insanity. Joe Reshard plays a hopping bass and drummer Gianluca Palmieri is straight on top of every hectic time shift and colorative variation, making for an ultra-tight combo. This isn't a disc for the timid or those suffering from nervous conditions; find an old Manilow 12-inch and do yourself a favor in that case. On the other hand, if fusion's your homeland, whether it be anywhere from Brand X to One Shot, Sound Proof is irresistable, and Howe is the cat with the goods, plenty of 'em for over 20 years and getting nothing but better each time out.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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