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CD REVIEW: The Flyin Ryan Brothers - Under The Influence
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/05/2011 - 12:25 AM EDT

Artist: The Flyin Ryan Brothers
Album: Under The Influence
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Guitar Funk Rock
Sounds Like: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Ethan Brosh
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 5/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 7/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Chupacabra, Henhouse Shuffle, Loco Motive
Weakness: Marketability, Winded Songs, Repetitive Musical Catalogue
CD Review:

Illinois' own The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers release their latest effort Under the Influence in 2011. This is their 9th release to date and for the record these brothers have been playing together for over 40 years.

The CD blasts off with “Ascension” an anointed intro piece of sorts that’s merges right into Track 2 “Full Throttle” a cool hypnotic groove serving up steady beat, melodic guitar, and progressive time signatures. Track 3 “Chupacaba” delivers yet another dynamic piece of music that lets it all hang out with impressive solo guitar work, Chris Squire type walking bass groove, and hi-energy drumming. Track 4 “Grooveyard Dawg” serves up yet another progressive melody with multiple peaks and valleys, driving rhythms, and impressive melodic tandems between dueling guitar and talkbox. The music itself has a fusion/rock vibe reminiscent to  Al Di Meola, Joe Satriani, Etahn Brosh and Steve Vai. As this CD slowly unfolds it obvious the players in TFRB are quite accomplished. The guitar work of both Jimmy and Jonny is extremely melodic, technical and creative. No doubt there’s a lot to amazing playing to be found on this musical production. You will hear notice the many musical influences along the way - from rock, to jazz, from Rush to Return to Forever this CD pretty much has it all. The musical textures and overtones are all in the pocket and full of sickening variety,and guitar licks that are hot to the touch. All pieces are extremely progressive and dynamic providing many musical peaks and valleys, trap doors, and tricky time changes. The guitar work is front and center, the bass grooves are tight and flow like a flea on steroids, the drumming pushes the natural accents well. From bluesy “After Hours” to dynamic “Loco Motive” to grooving “Henhouse Shuffle” this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. The CD ends withtrack13” Trinity’ the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.

This production has the aftertaste of a vintage 80’s early 90’s musical production. Perhaps it's safe to say - released 20 years too late? The year is 2011, and although the music scene has changed dramatically over the past 5, 10, 20 years, there are still artists like TFRB who somehow manage to re-invent himself amidst all the Guitar Hero hype. Make no bones about it they do manage to pull it off – but some of the aforementioned issues do effect the CD’s overall marketability. CD will deliver guitar solo after guitar solo after guiatr solo until you are literally blue in the face screaming Uncle. Perhaps the catalogue is a bit repetitive. It’s hard for me to tell one track from another. All songs over 4 minutes in length drag you to the finish line.

Overall this latest release from the “The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers” proves itself in a very overcompensating way. Under The Influence has some truly impressive moments to it indeed. Its strong suit is its amazing musicianship, impressive jams, and the dynamic and progressive arsenal of guitar showmanship. It’s a fully loaded production. At the end of the day Under the Influence from The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers is guilty as charged! All guitars are impounded until further notice!

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