Roy Leonard Herman 2019
Californian polymath finally finds a force to fashion a bag of mixed marbles wherein a hidden gem may lie.
Roy Herman does possess the chops in a six-string department, and what’s a better way to demonstrate one’s mastery of riff and lick than an instrumental album – a companion piece to the American’s other, less focused debut, “Save The Universe” (to be reviewed separately): both EPs an outcome of his quarter-century star trek. Still, cramming decades of build-up into five pieces produced quite a chaotic, if good-natured and adventurously Zappa-esque, experience.
While variety is always welcome, there’s usually a context for any concept yet, instead of developing a single idea, the Uncle either dwells on it until the musical figure has outstayed its welcome or piles it up together with plethora of dissimilar melodies. As a result, “Space Noodlein'” is exactly that: shredding for the sake of shredding set against a self-deprecating title and muddied enough to cause a progressive vertigo but, whereas the tuneless “There Is Nothing More Bright Than The Stars At Night” might come from a scales exercise, “Flight Of The Ancient Alien” can easily embrace a quasi-orchestral scope
Still, the transparent textures of “It’s A Beautiful Day In The Milky Way” offer a blissful respite, and “Moonbeams And The Cosmic Bang” will reveal a riveting clarity and detail which allow the piece’s space breathe, its effect-ridden layers oozing emotion as electric and acoustic strands blend to dazzle the listener. Hopefully, the daze is the start of something bigger; otherwise, what’s the point?