Subba Cultcha : Review of Wackazoid
Ohio’s guitar-hugging export, Eric Loy, can’t stop his energetic fingers from strumming on his sixth solo album.
Instrumental bands have long inspired awe in music lovers, with their cloudy air of mystery, the labyrinthine sounds that replace the need for words. Take Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor; perfect for filling the silence of a room, whilst not entirely obstructing the mind’s focus. Under the same category of instrumentalism, but yet so distinctly different, is Dayton, Ohio’s Eric Loy, the loved and much-lauded acoustic guitarist. One journalist describes him as Ohio’s ‘cult guitar icon’. Yes it is true that there are no words, no voice, but Loy’s guitar most definitely speaks, telling the stories of each of the ten tracks on his new album. It is hard not to pay attention to each impressive chord as his guitar strings twang. It is not only the speed, but the precision with which he plays that impresses so much. Every chord is like he’s riding bareback, carefree, galloping over the obstacles instead of past them.
His acoustic fingerstyle playing, combined with his prowess, makes this album a joy to listen to. The intensity of opener ‘Zoo Rendezvous’ really does involve you in the meeting of these people, scattered all over the zoo plain, each indulging in different conversations. You think Loy can’t sustain the intensity of the excitement, but he does so for over four minutes.
Loy’s union of elements of country, blues and jazz make each track unique. Track eight’s title ‘Catharsis’ speaks volumes, with Loy getting his band the Hipperoos on board for an explosive assault on the eardrums. Drums, electric guitar and Loy’s own mind-bending plucking all make for a perfect climactic track. Then on the following number ‘Drowning Man’, Loy perfects the art of changing the tone, with a mixture of major and minor melodies, played in polished staccato fashion. And it is not only the guitar that Loy employs to create such a distinct array of sounds. He’s got his harp guitar on board as well. Not to mention the tapping and slapping between chords.
For guitar enthusiasts, Eric Loy appears to be held in high esteem. And once you check out Wackazoid or any of his other releases, including with his fusion trio Hipperoos, you will be catapulted into a unique and wholly energetic listening experience.
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