Sunday, July 19, 2009

Album Review - Roo "Guitar Without a Cause"

Romain Chapus, also known as Roo, is a French musician and producer based in Helsinki, Finland.

Roo is a busy guy. He has performed live in France, Finland and Estonia, he released an instructional DVD and various other instructional products, and now we finally have his debut solo album, Guitar Without a Cause.

Featuring Toni Paananen (Malpractice-Spinefarm records) on drums, Guitar Without a Cause was mastered at legendary Finnvox Studio (Nightwish-ChildrenOfBodom).

Roo is a master of the unexpected, mixing chicken-picking, tapping, country licks and Metal-Funk Fusion to create a sound all of his own.

On to the tracks:

The album kicks off with the boot stomping “Heat”. The main riff is from the old-school rock stables and the beat is big. This track is sure to get a good few listeners jumping around and throwing some air-guitar poses.

Track 2, “Double Trouble”, is a shred fest not bound by any musical genre. Roo’s musical approach is full of quirky ideas, making his compositions very unpredictable. Form the blue-grass licks, to the acoustic solo, to the lounge grooves, to the prog breakdowns, I was pleasantly surprised at every turn of this track.

The title track is a funky number with more country and blue-grass elements, while still staying true to rock and shred. The solos are precise and Roo’s clean lead tone is stinging. The musical motifs are seemingly endless and Roo’s skills seem limitless.

“Flash Point” opens with a funky vamp, allowing Roo to get a little bit jazzy, showing that he can bust out the tastiest of licks along with the best of them. The outro solo is a stunning mix of countrified shred, that ends of with some textbook sweeping and tapping ideas.

The final track, “Inner Strength” is a far heavier affair than the rest of the album. The harmonized riffs and chugging palm-muting are simultaneously brutal and beautiful. The lead breaks leading into the solo are frightening and the chromatic ideas and huge arpeggio moves are astonishing.

Guitar Without A Cause is clear and well mixed, allowing the listener to hear every note that Roo plays. The unpredictability of Roo’s playing, along with his ability to play in any number of styles in a single track, make this album lots of fun to listen to. I hope to hear Roo’s next offering soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I heard some of Roo's solos on Youtube. No one has really been successful at mixing Country & Metal together before (there have been some novelty attempts flirting w/ it, but nothing serious). I think Roo is the 1st person I have seen meld the two into an original style. EXCELLENT. Just Excellent.