I never understand some people who dedicate themselves to one particular musical genre, especially a single artist or group. I respect their loyalty, it’s personal preference, I remain eclectic. Provided the music is raw, inspiring or just darn loud, I’m usually in.
There are some genres I favour over others though, but always there’s exceptions to the rule. In fact it’d be easier to tell you the ones I usually steer away from rather than the ones I like. I say I’ve never been one for easy listening, but to hear the echoing vocals Frank Sinatra or the charm of Perry Como’s Magic Moments, I go all tingly.
Similarly with heavy metal, although I’m an aficionado of rock, in awe of Hendrix, moved by Zeppelin and shivery at Jim Morrison, I even confess to a spate of soft metal when popular in the eighties, oh Heart, how will I get them alone?
I don’t know, I say this because I’ve no desire to wear a black t-shirt with some band logo of death and suffering depicted on it, to be outcast from classmates by slouching alone in a corner whimpering about Anthrax. I’ve never even made Satan finger signage, save when playing the ready salted Hula-Hoops game. However, when Motorhead blast out The Ace of Spades my predilections burn in hell and I can’t help but rock out like I’m Ozzy reliving his misspent youth.
That said, am I hunting for some pathetic reason not to like Devizes guitarist Mitch Underwood’s album “The Space Between,” simply because “heavy metal” isn’t really my cup of tea? Mitch tells me he’s been in and out of bands in the past, who’ve played clubs and venues over the UK and Europe. “Burnthru, my last band, gigged almost constantly throughout the UK,” he explained, “playing a host of venues and festivals, supporting such bands as Grim Reaper, Breed 77 and Diamond Head.” I’m out of my comfort zone here, admittedly not heard of them.
We discussed eclecticism and our differences calmly, “I’m the same in some respects,” Mitch told me, “as it’s easier to say what I don’t like. I used to be very close minded when I was fifteen, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve opened up to lots of music that possibly wouldn’t of years ago.” Although he wouldn’t “open” up to rave music, I confirmed it’s okay, you had to have been there at the time, we did agree with jazz; Mitch considered if he had the time to learn it, he’d consider it.
But bands aside, and jazz way off on another moon, Mitch likes his singly energies. “Instrumental guitar music is my focus now and my debut album ‘The Space Between’ is out now.” Yep, that’s what we’re reviewing here today, for they really are quality pieces of guitar solo. Mitch is a very accomplished guitarist; damn my pigeonholing The Space Between is growing on me!
“Too Many Worlds” takes no prisoners, the fast and furious opening track booms. “All Bark and no Bite” continues the ethos, substantial slid guitar rocks the rhythm; Mitch sure has mind-blowing skills. These are the ideal air guitar tunes, I couldn’t keep up with a tennis racket.
Like film-scoring, three tunes in and “Pearl” mellows, bringing the subtle calming ambience like the dramatic end of an eighties John Hughes movie; you’ll find love again Molly Ringwald, call me.
Then it’s back off again, rocking steady, “What Remains,” plods nicely, while “Danger De Mort,” develops even more depth, with an ominous riff. Unsure what the initials NRP stand for, but this tune returns us to mellow, prior to rocking out again with the title track and Burn.
There are elements here which make me plead for some vocals, the breezy tune Soldier an example; you do yearn for a brazen rock chick in Daisy-Dukes to holler from an Arizonian mountain, and I can’t deny, it’s all that’s missing; Mitch would breathe life into any rock band. Then a tune like “Gigi” comes along, simplistic by comparison with the others and it just works as it is; a beautiful melody generates smooth overtones. There, my “heavy metal,” classification has been utterly demolished; this is mood music for the soul.
There’s another two tunes on offer here to finish us off, they both blend the dividing factions of Mitch’s style; the rapid thriving thrashes of brilliance which make ultimate driving tunes and this more delicate and considerate style alluring nonchalant riffs. Put this CD on and drive, dude!
CD available from: mitchunderwoodmusic.com