Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM
Is Vinnie the most underrated guitarist out there? Quite possibly, he just goes under the radar at the same time as being in the industry for decades.
If you do not know the name I am betting you have heard his playing in one form or another. From Alice Cooper to the longest serving guitarist with UFO as well as 10, yes 10 solo albums.
Double Exposure is another lockdown gem and unlike his previous albums this is not solely instrumental…a first for Vinnie but I suspect he lived with the songs for so long he had time to see them as a full composition and luckily he had some cracking vocalists to summon with Ed Terry, Keith Slack, Mike DiMeo and Brian Stephenson putting in awesome shifts.
The addition of vocals has given his tracks more life and will definitely expand his fanbase as this is a beast of an album.
We kick of with “Vertical Explosion” and an Atomic Punk guitar slide before we settle into that Vinnie vibe we know and love, this is a funky toe tapper that does have a Dave Lee Roth and Vai groove.
Rise is up next and the powerful guitar kicks things off and then falls into a swagger all of its own, think Mr Big, Whitesnake and the song is a bit of an anthem.
‘Still Waters Run Deep” is a whole different animal, some proggy guitar opens before we head to the deep south for the meat and gravy. This is a 70s steeped number which should be played in the car with the roof down.
The South is pevailant again on “Paid my Dues” but it is loaded heavily with a huge chunk of blues magic…step aside Mr Bonamassa, Vinnie is in the house. I loved this number and the guitar work(not to mention the funky assed bass) is brilliant. This is why we should be seeing more vocals in future.
“River Flow” is more laid back, still has a Southern tinge but this harks back to Free and to tracks I was brought up on. This lazy, stoned out feel continues on “Hummingbird” and although I doubt we would see all these songs live with all the different singers it still does not stop you wishing for it. These songs were made for a festival in the summer heat.
Now we leave the vocals behind and focus on what Vinnie does best, play that damned six string and on “Astro Man” we get all manner of the mans talents whilst keeping a very funky feel throughout. Very Hendrix influenced.
“Breaking Through” takes you on a crazy journey across the fretboard. I felt a lot of Rungren and Utopia in there and when you crank it up with headphones on this is a guitarist wet dream.
On “In Too Deep” I had a reflective feel, a man at home with his weapon of choice with a soulful of happiness dragged out with a multitude of talent. A man happy with his influences and being able to mould them to his sound.
Time for a big old ass swagger on “Rocket” as the guitar creates the riffs and solos to build a beautiful number. I got the Utopia feel again on “One Day” and isn’t it wonderful how a musical instrument can take you on a journey without words. The song glides along as those strings are bent.
Final composition “Southern Highway” finishes the story laid out on Double Exposure and as the title states you know where the heart of this album comes from musically. The two parts tto this release work really well and I hope Vinnie continues to mix it up as this is one hell of a solid album and will appeal to so many guitar virtuosos, 70s lovers and a whole raft of new fans.
Double Exposure is a stunning album from a guitarist who has earned his stripes in the rock world and it demands your attention so check it out on 25th November when it is released, you will not regret it.
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