28 Mar 2023

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Michael Signal - EP Review: Solway

10 Feb 2023 // A review by Peter K Malthus

I'm really surprised that I hadn't heard of Michael Signal before reviewing this EP. This is far from being Michael's first release, and listening to it (repeatedly and joyfully, I might add) had me delving into his back catalogue, including a rip-snorting cover of Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane.

However, Solway is much more than a metal guitarist flexing, and showing off his chops (although he does do that at points, and admirably). Being a guitar instrumental release, there are no vocals on the EP, and it's clear none are needed. This is a craftsman creating a calling card, a statement of intent that admirably displays a well-roundedness of musicianship. 3 of the 4 tracks are quite short, starting with Silhouette at just under one minute, a lush acoustic piece that has nothing busy happening, just lovely moments of tension that resolve beautifully.

Magnetism is the second track, and has been previously released and reviewed by MNZ here. Then we hit what (for me) is the standout track; Tunnel Gully. Listening to this track quietly does it a disservice. Crank the volume and get ready to witness Michael bringing the goods. A main riff that would have Nuno and Eddie hi-fiving and getting their stank-face on, coupled with some tasty, tasty little melodies and snotty, shreddy solos... but then, at a little over the halfway point (track length is 4'24", making it longer than the other 3 tracks combined) the mood drops, and becomes more reflective and soulful, with the listener being gently taken to a place of peace and tranquility. Forshadow closes the EP, another short acoustic piece... one can only hope it's a foreshadowing of what's to come from Michael. My only complaint is that I would have liked to have heard more... I hope I can, soon.

This rocks. If you love rock guitar playing, take just under 8 minutes out of your day to check Solway out. Well done, Michael... wanna jam?

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Michael Signal

New Zealand guitarist and songwriter.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Michael Signal


Year: 2022
Type: EP
Direct Injection
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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