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Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Dave McKay: Guitar Plus & Orchestral 2

Reviewed by Sammy Jay Dawson

Dave McKay: Guitar Plus & Orchestral 2

Released simultaneously, these two albums follow Dave McKay’s earlier ‘Instrumentals Guitar’ and ‘Instrumentals Orchestra’ albums. The two new discs pick up straight where the last two left off with McKay, Ben Olson and Chris Dent sharing vocal duties over McKay’s music and lyrics on ‘Guitar Plus’, McKay’s instrumental approach mapped out further into fully fledged songs. Olson’s shred guitar influence is one of the guiding voices of the disc, along with his classic power metal vocals. Production values vary song to song, with some cringe-worthy MIDI drum sounds notable. ‘Orchestral 2’ is much more a sequel, albeit with a darker vibe – less classical, more film score. Again it’s the obviousness of the MIDI instrumentation that lets it down, and the production, Backstage Drama for example, horribly peaking. Recorded by McKay at The Sound Pound in Auckland, both albums are in dire need of a proper studio and a full session band to justify the evident compositional effort and skill involved. Sadly neither feels like a final release, rather a demo tracking for musicians to practice their individual parts.

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