Arjun – Core
Melodic instrumental guitar rock is delivered by Arjun in a no holds barred, defiantly expressive fashion.
While Arjun’s latest album Core is on the whole experimental and wildly expressive in many areas, the opening track ‘Rocks’ is quite possibly the closest to accessible easy listening instrumental rock you are going to get. With its relatively standard chord sequence, it is a pleasant introduction to Arjun’s music, with Andre Lyles’ bass playing laying down a solid foundation for the track’s other instrumentation to dance around. Continuing on to ‘Deep Impact’, things start to feel a little more edgy. Being darker in tone, the track ever so slightly nods to some of Satriani’s more sedate moments, and creates a sense of warmth and space that invites the listener to come along and get lost in its lingering notes. Title track ‘Core’ is more psychedelic, with its swirling organ courtesy of special guest John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood, and a blisteringly cool guitar solo delivered by Eddie Arjun Peters. It’s smoky and so laid back it is virtually horizontal, Hendrix-like with its squealing notes that at times feel like they might leap out of the speakers to grab you around the throat. The track’s mid point lets the organ loose, a real high point on the album, with its old school sound that evokes all kinds of vintage feelings, before the guitar enters the scene once more and partners with it to the point of perfection.The wide, sprawling vistas painted by ‘Crystalline’ shimmer and sparkle with the impression of gently journeying along the open road, on the way to new pastures. As the guitars pick up, there is a bright sense of hope and expectation, leading into a squelchy wah-wah solo that feels like a kind of dream sequence in the midst of the track’s progression. The funk really gets the chance to strut its stuff on ‘Lavalust’, a bass-belching track filled with crunch and groove. While there’s a funk foundation to its construction, there are glimmers of blues that weave in and out, and the way the track plays out happens in a way that you might not expect on first listen. The bass slurs and grumbles, while the guitar notes go off scattershot, and the track eventually moves into a Lenny Kravitz style funk/indie rock crossover. ‘Alchemy’ heads in an altogether smoother direction, with a guitar lead that feels as though it is trying to charm or otherwise seduce the rhythm section as it dances confidently around the drums and bass by showing off the moves it has to offer. Who know’s if they will end up together by the end of the night? Closing with ‘Within You’, Core draws to its conclusion by presenting everything that Arjun has spent the album communicating in one fell swoop. The guitar effortlessly speaks out its voice like a Shakespearean soliloquy as the album reaches its end, all is left as silence, with the sounds of the past tracks standing like seven benevolent ghosts, inviting you to resurrect them to live once more.