BEN SCHOLTE- Instrumental

Let me just say, I don’t want to be discouraging. But. Having said that, ‘Instrumental’ could well be exactly what you’ve all been waiting for your whole lives. Six four-to-five-minute-long bursts of guitar wanking heaven, I couldn’t tell you what any of them are called because Mr Scholte is obviously too busy performing said wanking over
his guitar to write a tracklisting to go with his demo but I can tell you that they all sound very similar. He didn’t enclose a biog either. Oh well. Nevermind. I can always make one up.

How about: ‘Ben Scholte is a guitarist from Cheshire, England. After being in a number of local bands, every musician in the area got fed up with his incessant soloing over every minute of each song they came up with, hence the fact that,
at the beginning of last year, he set out to record his own album. Calling the project ‘Supersonic’- and drawing on influences from guitarists in the blues, rock and metal world- many hours were subsequently spent perfecting his craft, so to speak, in front of his old Van Halen and Guns N Roses posters. As a result, it probably soon became apparent to the local ladies shortly afterwards that Scholte was, albeit a talented axeman, rather dull so not even they were around to distract him in his musical quest. Not that this was a problem; it merely gave him more time
to finalise the programming on ‘Instrumental’s backing track using the new home recording software he got from Father Christmas, after which he made it his mission to produce six tracks that would mostly be listened to and critiqued by other boring guitar players like himself.’ *Some of the above is factual, some fiction- it is up to you
to find out what.

And my plus one says that the guitar is sometimes not in tune. I personally think that ‘Instrumental’ sounds like the best montage sequence ever, a montage where the guitarist’s fingers get bloodier and bloodier, night turning into day as he widdles away to himself, posting tracks on guitar forums and getting replies back such as ‘What key are you playing that in?’ and ‘Oh yes, I can do that in E minor’, the ending scene his hands finally exploding in a blaze of light. I mean, I totally get it, to an extent- the liberation of musos trapped in their bedrooms, creative freedom in its finest sense, freedom that can change lives and minds and produce some amazing music that we all wouldn’t get to hear otherwise. And it’s fantastic that Ben has a
talent he enjoys so much he wants to share it.

But this just isn’t for me. No, for me, each song is (and can I be blunt?) a self-indulgent waste of time with little dynamic and even littler point. From one different kind of music Nazi to another, all I can say is: Track 2 sounds like the Lost Prophets (which I’m not sure is a good thing in the present climate), Track 5 sounds a bit
like classic Santana, and final track- er,Track 6- features the very best of 80’s hairswishing mayhem. Even bands don’t want to listen to their guitarists play for five minutes- that’s why the guitar solo was invented. There’s nothing wrong with self-belief but, as the CD ended, a voice behind me said to the cat ‘Don’t lick your penis’,
I considered that perhaps that would be my advice to Ben Scholte. Ouch. Sorry, chuck.

Anna C