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Robin McAlpine - A Rethink on My Part

Robin McAlpine
A Rethink on My Part
by Luke Bravin at 03 September 2014, 10:34 PM

Oh boy, a McAlpine? Could this be a relative of the awesome Tony Mcalpine? Well, no and two reasons why: 1. Tony’s last name is spelled with an extra A, and 2. Robin McAlpine kind of sucks.

So, who is Robin McAlpine? Well, I can’t tell you a lot given it’s hard to find much about this guy. One thing I did find, was what made him pick up a guitar, which is something me and him have in common; Angus fucking Young. Just like me, Robin picked up the guitar because of AC/DC and just like me, it changed his life forever.

Don’t get me wrong; he’s a talented and very impressive guitar player but his song writing? Well, that needs a lot of work, and I mean a lot. But this is the guy’s first release, and that would normally be a good reason as to why this album isn’t very good, but he’s been playing guitar since he was 9, and that was in the 80s.

As I listen to the opening track “Action at a Distance” I notice the 20 second fade-in which I felt, wasn’t necessary as it could’ve be quicker, and the guitar work and melody just seems disconnected from the music in the background. The main melody sounds kind of forced and at some points during the song, he jumps into sweeps and legatos and yes, it’s impressive, but this guy is clearly just trying to show off, like a bad Joe Satriani. But at least with Satriani, both his playing and song writing abilities are on point.

In all honesty, the rest of the album follows a similar pattern. Tracks like “So Do I”, is a more mellow and laid back song, yet the guitar melody and even tone just don’t fit the song. It’s too aggressive for the atmosphere the backing track creates, kind of like if Robin was angry but upset when writing that song, but that might’ve been what he was going for.

Overall, there isn’t a lot to say about this album, apart from saying that it’s hard to enjoy something so mediocre and amateur when the bar has been set so high by amazing instrumental musicians like Steve Vai and Paul Gilbert; Sorry, Robin.

1 Star Rating

1. Action at a Distance
2. Tradewinds
3. So Do I
4. 20 Degree Sud
5. As a Moment Becomes a Memory
6. Subtil Jon
7. Fall of the Concrete Soldier
8. Watermark
9. Niborous Cypher
Robin McAlpine - Guitar
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 27 January 2023

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