CD REVIEW: Graham Greene – Down Devils Road

CD REVIEW: Graham Greene – Down Devils Road
April 2015
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
9 1/2 /10

Graham Greene - Down Devils Road cover

There’s some perverse paradox to the career of Graham Greene. Once dubbed “the Satriani of the South’, due to his prowess on the six (or more) string and his albums of instrumental melodic rock tunes, his style is uniquely informed by the arid outback of Australia, and by the fine tradition of rock n’ roll to emanate from our big red land. Yet there’s little avoiding the conclusion that had he been a product of a European nation, that he would likely have had far more success, be it with a big-name band or forging his own path like a Friedman or Satriani.

Home, though, is more important to some of us, and Greene’s personal warmth and bonhomie comes through in his songs: where instrumental rock isn’t easy to do well – after all, it has to engage with one less melody line, and without a lyrical story to capture the imagination – his songs are human, engaging. They tap into the soul far more than any clinical “mine’s bigger than yours” flurry of faster-faster solos could ever do.

Comprising last year’s Lord Of Misrule EP, as well as newer tracks, Down Devils Road is never less than beguiling and masterful. Smack bang in the middle of all this instrumental wonder is a more traditional rock n’ roll song, sung by Greene’s life partner, Donna G, and her vocals on Hand On The Handle prove that a recent illness has not dimmed her power one bit.

The bluesy Chicken Soup For The Soul is a stunner, and sees Greene stretching out not only stylistically, but also musically with a piano solo taking the spotlight from the guitars briefly. Race To The Eastern Sea will doubtless appeal to Satriani fans with it’s layered melodies and searing guitar, and closer Lord Of Misrule ends on yet another high note with a guitar line which soars weightlessly above the clouds.

Possibly Greene’s best work ever in a career full of highlights, Down Devils Road poses one question more than any other: How the hell have the likes of Frontiers Records or Nuclear Blast not snapped these two up on contract yet??

CD REVIEW: Graham Greene – Down Devils Road

Filed Under: CD Reviews

About the Author: Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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