Jill Yan, a native of Switzerland living in Spain, has been around for about 5 years in guitar land. In 1998 he released "Guitar Garbage", the follow up to which was released last year. Entitled "Guitar Garbage 1.2" it is an instrumental record portraying his technical and compositorial (is that English?) prowess.

When you listen to the album you quickly discover the awesome groove to the tracks. Perhaps dictionary entries for "groove" should be redefined to read "Like Jill Yan's 'Guitar Garbage 1.2' album" or something. It's not just groove, though, because Yan has plied his trade in a variety of musical genres. "Club 22" starts off jazzy, "Not this Way" sounds melodic in a way reminiscent of Satch, "Candy's Bar" has reggae influences, and "Spanish Dolphin" is a very good ballad-type track. Guitar-wise, Jill Yan knows his chops. "The Detune" has amazing guitar work, and in fact the album shines with guitar talent.

However, there is something that holds back the album. About halfway through the record the groove tends to get same-ish. "Club 22", "Well, Well, Well", "New Plasma" and "The Wave" sound very much alike, riff-wise. Sure, they're all really groovy and it's difficult to sit still, but perhaps that should/could have been molded into one somewhat longer track.

Still, that's splitting hairs, really. Yngwie Malmsteen has done the same thing for aeons, so why wouldn't Mr. Yan be allowed to write a couple of similar tracks? Even with their similarity they do plain rock and groove. And that, when it boils down to it, is what matters.



Written August 2001


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