Steve Stevens

Steve Stevens

Flamenco A Go-Go

Ark21

Steve Stevens… former six-string sidekick to Billy Idol in his heyday. Leader of his short-lived Atomic Playboys. Guest axe-man on Vince Neil’s Exposed . The only element to recommend Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana.” Basically, a corporate-rock veteran.

You know what, though? Steve is a pretty hot-damn guitarist, his chops n’ licks often beyond scorching, or, at the very worst, a none-too-modest display of virtuostic showboating. Which is a damn shame that he didn’t play any electric guitar on his first (mostly) instrumental album, Flamenco A Go-Go , because most of it…well, most of it is of the Kitaro/ Pure Moods variety, that of which being contemplative, new-agey fluff disguised as “very serious music.”

Semantic gripes aside, the album does have flourishes — and many of them — of real flamenco, but when filtered through an electronic muse (i.e., drum machines, synthesizers), those brief flashes of hope are entirely quashed. Sure, Steve spent the last two years recording Flamenco A-Go-Go virtually unaided, and sure, Howard Jones co-wrote and played piano on “Letter to a Memory” (read: no one cares), but he probably should’ve stuck to what he does best: rockin’ out. Then again, you can only extend the sonic possibilities of the electric guitar so far without sinking into Japanoise excess, so maybe that was his line of thinking.

Surprising? Definitely. Confused? Maybe. Adventurous? Hardly.

Ark 21, 14724 Ventura Blvd., Penthouse Suite, Sherman Oakes, CA 91403; http://www.ark21.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

From the Archives