Mike Landau

Rock Bot­tom

Guitarist - - Music - Provogue

A brood­ing and enig­matic gui­tar mas­ter­piece

Mike Landau may al­ready be fa­mil­iar to you for the eclec­tic vir­tu­os­ity of his in­stru­men­tal gui­tar al­bums. For his lat­est long-player, how­ever, he’s de­cided to let loose his vo­cal tal­ents, too – and the re­sult is an al­bum of enig­matic, brood­ing in­ten­sity that crack­les with jagged bril­liance on gui­tar. It’s a sur­pris­ingly sub­ver­sive al­bum – Rock Bot­tom is al­most akin to Tom Waits’ Mule

Vari­a­tions in its un­set­tling glimpses into the dark heart of Amer­ica. Wit­ness the slow, noc­tur­nal blues of We All Feel The Same, with its swampy, mo­lasses-thick lead lines or the punk­ish vit­riol of We’re Al­right, as spiky as a hand­ful of splin­ters. Ev­ery time it seems Landau is aim­ing for taste­ful min­i­mal­ism, he lets rip with a lick that is as vir­tu­osic as it is wholly free of cliché. It adds up to an un­ex­pected in­stant clas­sic for any­one with a yen for twisted blues and som­bre at­mo­spher­ics. [JD] Stand­out track: Free­dom For fans of: John Scofield, Oz Noy, Tom Waits

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