Joe Satriani - Shockwave Supernova
Anthony Firmin fails gets a sense of déjà vu from the guitarist's 15th album
Joe Satrani is a very busy man so it’s a wonder he has had time to record this album, his 15th solo release. From guitar teaching (he previously instructed Steve Vai and Kirk Hammett) to designing guitars for Ibanez as well as amps and various effects pedals for Marshall and Vox, and being a huge science fiction fan became involved with Ned Everett creating an animated venture called Crystal Planet. And if that wasn’t enough there ‘was’ the awesome Chickenfoot which both promised and delivered; Satch apparently wrote loads of ideas for a new album but singer Sammy Hagar only seems to be interested in old material.
Satriani assembled an outstanding array of musicians at George Lucas’s Skywalker Sound studios late last year to help him record this album: Ex-Zappa man Mike Keneally on keyboards and guitars, Marco Minneman on drums and Bryan Beller on bass.
The whole album is once again a showcase for his style of instrumental guitar music and it is superbly played. Title track, Shockwave Supernova, is a catchy powerhouse that starts the album. Of the rest of the tracks On Peregrine Wingsand Keep On Movin’ are the absolute stand outs on the album, and If There Is No Heaven is a real foot tapper. But at the other end of the spectrum San Francisco Blue fails to raise any excitement at all and sounds like a bit of a filler as does All Of My Life.
However, you just feel that you have heard it all before on his previous albums with little in the way of variation from his blueprint approach and sound. In fact you can play a game whilst listening - spot the previous album which the track sounds like it should have been on Surfing… Super Colossal and The Extremist. Don’t get me wrong, there is little wrong with this album and his fans will love it. It is just you know he is capable of so much more as we saw with Chickenfoot!
Words: Anthony Firmin
For a night of top notch guitar masturbation you can catch Joe Satriani along with special guest Dan Patlansky at the O2 Apollo, Manchester, on 1st November 2015 – tickets on sale now.