A guitar virtuoso having a dusty electroacoustic jam for his supper.
It isn’t often I have the opportunity to bask in music where the guitar is placed front and centre in a way that is aggressive and acoustic. Spencer Elliot does just that. His style of instrumental progressive acoustic rock absolutely slaps. There is a buoyant groove to Spencer’s style that leaves you immune to its emotion.
The entire album is rooted in Spencer’s fingers. Each of the tracks is intricately built upon finger-style progressive rock. A simple chord is rarely strummed, it is speedily plucked with each string effortlessly cascading onto the listener. This means if Spencer Elliot is playing rolling folk ala “Silver Maple”, or something bombastic and showy such as opener “Torque” – it shines like a waterfall of notes.
Spencer is joined by a very capable drummer and bassist who trade in powerhouse blows too. They know the guitar is the showpiece but they provide the perfect supporting role. The tempo switches in”Joystick” allow the guitar to shift from rock to funk and then a merger together. The dizzying Latino flair of “Insignificant” gives us heavy bass and guitar swag that could rock a stadium. It has been a while since a bass-led melody really took me by storm but this track did it. Other highlights include the prog-rock closer “There’s Something in the Airlock” which has a crazy detuned twang to it. It feels like it could be a score for an anime “prep for the battle” scene.
Spencer Elliot’s “SE3” has such a funky groove to its prog-rock that if your feet aren’t tapping or your head nodding to his rhythms, then I’m not sure you enjoy the guitar. Everything is centred around a pulsating flow of notes that never let up. In some ways, the compositions feel like they are rooted in classical components but the album is all rock. The will be the perfect rock soundtrack for summer drives or rides. A genuinely wide smiled delight to listen to.
Recommended track: Torque
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