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Mike Keneally - Guitar Therapy Live  CD (album) cover


Mike Keneally



3.08 | 6 ratings

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3 stars I've been happy in the hamlet of Zappa, leery of the monsters lurking in the short forest that runs adjacent. Don Preston, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally... scary stuff I reckoned (Adrian Belew being an adorable anomaly). So there was something therapeutic in hearing this disc, even liberating. Is it the nicely napkinned dining of Zappa's live discs? No, this monster eats with its mouth open. But as it belches it issues forth the same fragrance of genius that drew me to Zappa in the first place. It's a messy, maniacal genius at work, as Mike Keneally embraces distortion, rips the belly open on his guitar and then sews it back up neatly again for the next number. Some of this is flat-out amazing ("Lightnin' Roy," "Hum"), most of PDI (pretty darn impressive). Mike's voice is, as he puts in the liner notes, "what it is," which is to say a mix of talking and singing that falls slightly short of FZ and AB. But nobody sticks their head into the forest to hear Mike Keneally sing; it's all about that guitar being spanked into a tantrum, the angular compositions, the well choreographed contributions from the band. After hearing this disc, I'd accord Mike Keneally a konstellation of his own in the prog- metal heavens, to the right of Zappa and down a little to the left of Galactic Cowboys. It's probably not the place to start (when is a live album ever?), but I'm marking it on the map anyway with a note that says "nice monster." I will be back, with candy in my hand, to lure Nonkertompf and its ilk out of the forest and into my living room.
daveconn | 3/5 |


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