Friday, September 10, 2010

Joe Perry - Have Guitar, Will Travel

Have Guitar, Will Travel is Joe Perry's fifth solo album, but I can't imagine what the hell he was thinking in this 2009 release. I know that this man is a fantastic rocker and an excellent hard rock guitarist, but nothing on this record would give you any indication of that. The sound is atrocious, Perry drenches songs in synthesizer, programming and sound effects and overall the guitars are buried under the rubble. The writing is not there and there is really not much to redeem anything that is happening here. Even a take on the oft-covered Earl Vince and the Valiants' "Somebody's Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight" (actually original Fleetwood Mac under a pseudonym) sounds flat and wimpy.

Joe finally gets it together for the last two numbers, "Scare the Cat" and "Freedom", where the group actually rocks and the guitars are up front where they should be, but by then, it is too little, too late. I'm sure lots of fans never even get to the end of the record since the rest is so mediocre.

Perry is a talented guitarist who is capable of great rock'n'roll and amazing heavy guitar licks, but you won't find them here. It's a shame since he can do so much better than this.

PS - Interesting trivia - Boston music legend Willie "Loco" Alexander plays piano on this record!