If you need your ‘70s guitar rock mainlined, then I have an album for you that’s pretty pure. Scott Allen, whose guitar playing prowess is exceptional, and who plays the kind of stuff that you wish you could play, has assembled a band to put together a an album of instrumental rock with lots of lead that will not only feed your wish but also might have you mourning the good old days of guitar rock.
Scott Allen has patterned himself after guitar wizards like Eddie Van Halen, Neal Schon, and other luminaries but holds a stylistic feel similar to Eddie Van Halen. That’s no surprise since it was a Van Halen MTV video that prompted Scott Allen to pick up a guitar in the first place. But, Scott Allen is, what you might say, 30 years too late to the party. With his excellent playing abilities, it’s likely we might have been hearing about him in a broader sense, perhaps as a one-time member of a once popular band. I’m always saddened by this for several reasons. The first is that the ‘70s era of rock was so good. Having grown up in the middle of it leaves a pang that never really dissipates completely. The second is that there are artists, like Scott Allen, who understand the era so well and plays like it.
The Scott Allen Project, his assembled band, has opened for Planet X, as well as a number of artists that originated with popular bands like Y&T, Mr Big, and Tesla. What Lies Beyond Words, the band’s album, was produced by Frank Hannon (Tesla). This album of 11 solid rock instrumentals is not only a selection of great tunes to listen to but they’ll remind you of instrumentals that slotted into albums back in the ‘70s.
Entrenched music listeners will remember Copeland’s IRS Records NoSpeak albums in the late ‘80s. While the content on those album series varied, the spirit of that series is found on What Lies Beyond Words, the title a reference to the album’s instrumental music. Highlights include “The Cool Breeze,” “A Girl I Once Knew,” and well…just about all of the 11 songs. I don’t think any ‘70s/’80s styled, hard rock fan is going to argue about any of the songs here once the smoke clears. The band is currently in the studio working on their next album, due out later this year (2007).