Mark McGuire‘s new album, Guitar Meditations Vol. II, is two minutes shy of a hundred and twenty minutes of stunningly beautiful electric guitar music. Maybe it if was his first release in a year or two, Guitar Meditations… might seem like an event, but with at least five or six solo records released in the past three years, it just seems like more of a good thing.
With at least two songs clocking in at around thirty minutes, you might think Guitar Meditations… would get boring, but it never does. “Beneath The Bells” shimmers and bubbles like early Tangerine Dream, while “Wandering Memory” finds McGuire picking folksy melodic lines over a bed of synths for the first thirteen minutes, then switching to 80s prog-pop palm mute riffs for a bit, before ending with the kind of beautiful, easygoing jangly riffs people only seem love when some dude is mumble-singing over them. “Postcard,” which I’m attaching for download, wonderfully confuses the “overproduced” guitar sound of 80’s soft-rock power ballads with the trebly guitar lines of Yo La Tengo or The Clean.
Mark McGuire and Emeralds have put out some of the best ambient and drone records of the past ten years, records that belong beside classics like Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works II, Fenessz’s Endless Summer, and The Stars of the Lids’ The Tired Sounds of the Stars of the Lids. Those searching for the proof behind that statement should look no further than Guitar Meditations II.
Mark McGuire – Postcard