Pete Prown

Though the musical story of the year has been the sweeping return of bubbly gum pop, aspiring guitar heroes are still pouring out of the woodwork, each trying to show that they have the best new chops on the block. One of the most intriguing young guns to hit the street is Dave Sharman, who commands a die hard following in his hometown of London, England. This might not seem unusual but when you look back at the past decade in rock guitar, it was largely dominated by American pickers. In fact, out of the entire heavy metal revival only Sweden’s, Yngwie Malmsteen stood out as a foreign body, while the rest of the pack has been Yanks. Where were the Brits who had a virtual monopoly on the electric guitar in the 60s and 70s, spinning out monsters like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Paige, Keith Richards, David Gilmour, Paul Kossoff and Allan Holdsworth? Dave Sharman, with his instrumental tour-de-force, ‘1990’, may single-handedly redress the international balance, carefully blending solid song writing skills with a knock out hammering technique, based in part on the inspiration of Van Halen and Holdsworth. The guitarist breaks his own ground to, coming up with some wild two handed playing that could presage a comeback for a long ailing British guitar scene. Compositionally, ‘1990’ ranges from heavy metal fusion, ‘Forgotten Souls’ to heavy blues and R&B grooves, (‘Southern Comfort’ and ‘Cloud 9’). To more cinematic hard rock instrumentals that wouldn’t be out of place in a Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie (‘Borrowed Time’). Though the guitarist gets extensive mileage out of straight left-hand hammer-ons and taps, he can also pick like the devil, like in the Bach n’ roll romp, ‘Pandora’s Box’ and in ‘Atomic Chaser’. ‘1990’ cooks from start to end.

Pete Prown, Guitar For The Practicing Musician