by GasHead

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Andy G CD Services
Independent Distributor
GasHead - LandSpeedRecord . Instrumental rock guitar and it's fabulous stuff. With electric guitar from Mike Lopez and guest appearance from Fourth Estate's Dave Beegle, this is a surging ride through rock guitar greatness, including a roaring cover of the Scorpions "Coast to Coast". If you are into rock guitar, then this is simply stunning stuff and one of the best of it's kind in a while.

20th Century Guitar
November 2003 Issue
Also on Hapi Skratch is an excellent 2003 CD from the Colorado-based GasHead, entitled "LandSpeedRecord". Propelled by the blazing electric guitar work of Mike Lopez and the drumming of Nate Scofield, GasHead's metal-rock instro sound is further filled out by a number of players including guitarist Dave Beegle, who also co-produced the 9 track instrumental set with Lopez. GasHead really smokes and the CD features excellent cover art to boot.

Review by Steffen Edwards
My office is way too small for this music! Few know this better than my employees who, with awed overtures, keep opening my door to ask me, "Who is this band?" It's clear to me that the latest reincarnation of Fort Collins-based guitarist/songwriter, Mike Lopez, has ignited a quick and enthusiastic response. Incorporated into this review are the first impressions of my employees. I'll proceed with my review as I would have, but adding here and there the "average grade" (AG) my staff gives each song as they hear them for the first time on this reputable debut.

Without a doubt, Mike Lopez is maturing well as a musician. Alone, this is a compliment that cannot be handed to all artists. With GasHead, he doesn't simply touch his toe to the pool of musical expression; he cannonballs into it, launching himself from the high dive as he does. LandSpeedRecord refreshes as a release that plunges into melody, song structure, dynamics, power, and technical expertise. You won't find any elementary 2 chord rock, filled with guttural screams and debris-laden dependence on angst and rhythm in a desperate effort to cover up any absence of talent. LandSpeedRecord misses nothing as an instrumental rock release, and while it inevitably draws parallels to forerunners Satriani and Vai, GasHead succeeds as exciting, visceral rock statement on it's own merit.

With musical visionary Dave Beegle at the controls as producer, the disc flips the nitrous oxide switch as soon as the starter turns over. A gut-wrenching launch is underway with the riff-heavy metal lines of "Propellant/Submarine Limousine" (AG 8). "El Cid" follows directly after, showcasing tremendous musical control and sensitivity as Lopez writes entrancing musical duets over a solid groove. It's akin to the sort of songwriting sensitivity that made Satriani one of the greats (AG 7). "Baja Lopez" on track five is one of my favorites! With Beegle laying down a dazzling flamenco base, Lopez exercises a flashy virtuoso layer that fulfills the hearts of rock and classical lovers alike (AG 9). The cinematic and soaring "Dead Orleans" on track six allows the listener a reflective and brooding reprieve (AG 6). "The Leaper", which follows, has a compelling melody line laid delicately and cleanly over a driving rhythm section that gives a nod to both Satriani and Megadeth aficionados (AG 7). "Post Hypnotic S" is a catatonic foray of musical inventiveness. It's a short minute and a half punctuated with abrupt meter changes, a thrashing ukulele solo sneaking up into your blind spot, and a pace that gives the song enough g-forces to change your complexion (AG 8). GasHead would seem to close out with a well-textured redo of the Scorpions "Coast To Coast" (AG 8), but wait, there's more! You'll have to get the CD to find that out.

Other compliments are deserved here too. GasHead's logo is, well, a gas! This is a brilliantly packaged CD, revealing not only the consummate visionary Mike Lopez is, but also the reputable support structure that is Hapi Skratch Records. Should GasHead deliver the goods live as well as they do on disc, and should they perpetuate their vision with sound business savvy, everyone's in for a wild ride!


released October 1, 2003



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