Tuesday, 2 June 2015

David Locke - Transitions (2015)

David Locke is a great guitarist. Let's get that out there right now. With two instrumental albums under his belt, Locke is quietly making a name for himself as that unassuming yet talented guitarist from the UK. That much can be said from his harmonised riffs and solos that lend a depth to the tracks.

The album bursts into life with opener Foundation, full of sweet gentle melody, underpinned by some chunky riffs. The major keys used conjure memories of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's heyday, with the riffs lending a modern sensibility that binds the parts together as a pure example of modern guitar virtuosity.

Locke cites Brian May as his inspiration, and this is certainly noticeable in the way solos meander through the tracks, offering up those melody lines that would normally be taken up by a vocalist.
Stand out tracks include States of Mind, which is full of grandiosity and pomp, and Time Shift, with its unusual time signatures and Prince-like funk chops.

Transitions is cast in much the same mould as Locke's debut, 2013's Riding Out Youth, but I can't help wondering if Locke couldn't have done more to progress from one album to the next. I guess there's no harm in being the Motorhead of the progressive rock world, but I would suggest that Riding Out Youth is the more experimental and bold of the two albums. Still, that doesn't stop Transitions being an enjoyable romp through a playground of string bending, tapping and improvisation.

You can listen to and buy Transitions at https://davidlocke.bandcamp.com/album/riding-out-youth