Artist:  Taz Taylor Band
   Title: Big Dumb Rock
No Hair Records  

I remember when I was a little dude just cutting my teeth in the world of Rock and Heavy Metal (that's what we had in them days, just the two).  We worshiped in the rock discos and played air guitar like our guitar heroes, the Iommi’s, the Young’s, the Nugent’s, the Schenker’s (both), the Blackmore’s and their like, but these days the guitar god is a dying breed with only a few young pretenders shining through, one of those being the phenomenal six string wizard Taz Taylor, a guy who makes it look so easy and makes the guitar an extension of himself.

There aren’t many guitar albums that really float my boat all the way through.  Yes some have moments of magic but on 'Big Dumb Rock' Taylor manages to keep me captivated from start to finish with a Hard Rock album that is a must for all those budding guitar players and those who just wish to be so.

The album opens up with ‘Viper’ and instantly Taylor shows his class on this bluesy grinder.  You can tell Taylor is a Michael Schenker fan, this is right out of MSG of old, I was just waiting for Gary Barden’s vocals to come through on this one it was scary.

The driven guitar sound is carried on through with ‘City Zen’, again very Schenkeresque but more UFO than MSG, but what a joy to listen to.  As a huge fan of both bands this track really floats my boat.

With ‘Reprised’ Taylor makes his own statement as he just fires up the fret board with some simply sublime finger work, again a real joy to listen to.  None of this six string masturbation you get from some guitar albums, this is just a man doing what he knows best.  No need for vocals here as Taylor makes the guitar do all the singing.

Things edge toward the heavy side of things with the mystical soundings of ‘Chillin’ before the somber tones of ‘Blue Agave’, then it's back to the old school rock sound of the title track ‘Big Dumb Rock’, which is far away from being just that.  This one made me want to get out that beat up old tennis racket and start throwing out a few shapes of my own.

But Taylor isn’t just about the old school hard rock, he brings a modern edge to the guitar world and this is brought to the forefront with the excellent ‘622’.  This is where old and new collide and magic is made and I just love the Hammond organ sound on this one, very John Lord.

Things get a little funky with the 70’s vibe on ’11 Years’, again a towering guitar and keyboard mix that just makes this old heart smile. 

There's an air of the Melodic Rock side of things with the superb ‘Dogs Breath’ (which should perhaps have been titled the 'Dogs Bollocks'), again simply superb.

The album closes with the haunting melodies of ‘Hornitos Concerto’ which wraps up a real gem of an album, “the guitar king is dead, long live the king”.


1. Viper
2. City Zen
3. Reprised
4. Chillin'
5. Blue Agave
6. Big Dumb Rock
7. 622
8. 11 Years
9. Dog Breath
10. Hornitos Concerto



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