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Paul Gilbert's first thought after moving to Portland, Oregon, were to connect with some cool cats on the local music scene. Behold Electric Guitar is the result.

It's a 12 track album with 11 blues fusion instrumentals and four guys jamming in a room, making room for each other with no overdubs. Gilbert begins by writing lyrics to give himself a ”rhythmic and melodic puzzle to solve. ” Once the song takes shape he gets rid of the words and lets the guitar take up the harmonic vocabulary instead.

The album jumps from blues to prog to jazz to rock - of course all natural bedfellows - and the fluidity on the album is second to none, with the musicians popping in and out of styles at will.

The complexity of the music gives way to the ordinary in the way of his song titles such as I Love My Lawnmower, A Snake Just Bit My Toe and Sir, You Need To Calm Down. It's quirky, yes, but fits right in with the intentionally random nature of his jams. His poem, A Herd of Turtles, are the only lyrics you'll hear on the album, but even each verse is interspersed with punchy funk riffs.

As an exploration of what you can do with the electric guitar sonically it never goes quite as far as it should; but it's a great example of what a bunch of talented musos can achieve when they rip up the rule book.

Groupie rating 3/5

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