Change in Motion
Just last week I remarked on my personal indifference toward instrumental albums since the majority of them are not much more than braggadocio, interesting primarily to other shred-oriented musicians. Change in Motion, the debut EP from Montreal native Frank Roberts, does not dispel the stereotype. After spending many years contributing to other musicians' albums, as well as establishing himself as a fixture behind the boards of local studios, Roberts has released Change in Motion as a means of drawing attention to his abilities as a rock guitarist and songwriter. The EP definitely proves that Roberts possesses formidable talent, but will struggle to gain traction among general audiences.
The title track, which kicks off the EP, is an uptempo composition dominated by Roberts' leads. Although he also provides the backing instrumentation (bass and drum programming), Roberts' approach on this song is clearly to establish a signature lead guitar presence. Melody and harmonized riffing take a backseat to his agile fretwork, and as such "Change in Motion" succeeds as a "showcase" song. The pace is slowed on "The Missing Element" to more of a blues-rock amble, with Robert's leads adopting a more melodic approach as they make room for the other instruments.
Roberts' begins to devote more energy to catchy accessibility with "Conflicting Ambitions". The song starts with somewhat of a pop-rock beat bolstered by strong melodies that integrate seamlessly with the leads, which themselves offer a nice variety of tones. As a general listener, the standout song for me is "Under the Cali Sun". There's a warm, embracing mellowness to the riffs that recall - ever so slightly - Satriani at his most reflective.
Change in Motion fulfills its purpose as a vehicle designed to display Frank Roberts' skill with the guitar and will raise awareness of his talents within the metal/rock community. Casual listeners may want to keep an eye out for future endeavors by this skillful Canadian axeslinger.
|1||Change in Motion||3:15|
|2||The Missing Element||3:24|
|4||Under the Cali Sun||5:29|