The Australian alternative scene has struck gold again, this time with Sydney’s Pretty Thrills who are …
With credentials going back to the early 1970s, Michael Schenker is one of the finest and most lauded guitar players of his generation, an inspiration not just in the way he played but the instrument he used.
The follow-up to a similar album last year, Revelation is Schenker in a celebration of his own legacy, surrounding himself with friends and former bandmates and indulging in old school hard rock.
There is literally nothing modern about Revelation. It is so old school it would almost be out of place even as long ago as the early 1990s, but given the talent involved that’s understandable—everyone involved here is well over 55. An argument could be made about renaming this Old Man Fest, and while that’s certainly accurate, it would be unfair to simply dismiss this as Dad Rock.
… guitar freaks and long-time fans will get plenty out of this.
To some extent, however, that’s what it is: old guys playing old music that hasn’t been fashionable since they were all very young, and it has to be said that a couple of the voices, Robin McAuley and Graham Bonnet in particular, exhibit signs of struggling from time to time. Schenker himself, of course, is the star of the show, propping up every track with good solid riffing and spectacular solos like the one that blazes its way across the opening song. Rock Steady seems to exist as a life support for the guitarist’s astonishing lead work, a criticism that could be extended to most of the early part of the album. While Schenker and his sidemen keep the proceedings to a fairly cracking pace, nothing much stands out.
The better songs come along in the last half, where both Lead You Astray and We Are the Voice take things into a heavier direction, with the somewhat ironic Old Man challenging them for the top honours with a serious Rainbow-esque vibe. Schenker then rounds out Revelation with Ascension, a furious instrumental piece driving by castle-storming riffing. It’s a strong finish, the old school guitar master showing that he still is one of the best and isn’t about to hang out his hat just yet. Still, while guitar freaks and long-time fans will get plenty out of this, it probably isn’t going to feature high on very many essential lists.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Lead You Astray, We Are the Voice, Old Man
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Scorpions, Yngwie Malmsteen, Deep Purple