11298_12in_GATEFOLDSay hello to you new favorite guitar anti-hero. Granted, Chris Forsyth has been making music for quite some time now, but if there’s any justice in this world, Solar Motel will bring a legion of fresh followers into the fold. The album is some kind of masterpiece, a four-part suite of ecstatic, spiritual psychedelia that splits the difference between unabashed classic rock thrills and a spikey avant garde sense of adventure. Try to imagine Television circa 1977 recording a cover of Pharoah Sanders’ “The Creator Has A Master Plan” and you’re halfway there.

The late rock critic Robert Palmer wrote extensively about about the Church of the Sonic Guitar, a alternative, six-string tradition that includes such mavericks as Lou Reed, Tom Verlaine (and his partner in crime Richard Lloyd), Robert Quine, Sonic Youth and many more. Forsyth definitely worships at this church, funneling the fluid lyricism of Verlaine, Richard Thompson, and even Jerry Garcia through the feedback-drenched noise rock of the 1980s and 90s. It’s an ambitious approach that not many players could pull off, but Forsyth does it with the ease and dynamism of a virtuoso. His tones shimmer and shatter, resonating beautifully from moment to moment.

As great a guitarist as he is, however, Forsyth’s real strength might lie in the architectural nature of his songwriting, as he and his band patiently build up majestic sound structures, only to gleefully demolish them in bursts of cacophony. And then they do it all over again. Solar Motel‘s four parts are composed with an expert’s eye for detail, while still leaving plenty of room for live wire spontaneity and excitement.

You can check out the album’s opening section here, accompanied by striking (and appropriately sun kissed) visuals by Maria Dumlao. But you’re going to want to experience Solar Motel in full, trust me.  words/ t wilcox

8 Responses to “Chris Forsyth :: Solar Motel”

  1. Awesome album!

  2. What I now want for Christmas, basically.

  3. Love this. Philly jam, too!

  4. Yes! Truly remarcable sound and compositions. Made my day: just noticed he’s playing live here in geneva next saturday! Thank you t wilcox & ad!

  5. […] good amount of writing done this week and Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel has been my soundtrack. This Aquarium Drunkard piece gets at why it’s so damn good.  I think this one will be in constant rotation, especially […]

  6. […] a few weeks after the release of Chris Forsyth’s mind splitting Solar Motel, the world is blessed with yet another long-form guitar masterpiece — Cian Nugent & The […]

  7. […] and I’m glad that I did because it led me to Chris Forsyth and his astonishing LP, Solar Motel. The Aquarium Drunkard nails it by saying “try to imagine Television circa 1977 recording a cover of Pharoah Sanders’ […]

  8. […] Forsyth’s guitar extravaganza Solar Motel was one of 2013′s most cosmic releases. As great as the LP is, Forsyth took things a whole […]

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