Marco Minnemann is a renowned drummer and multi-instrumentalist known for his work with the likes of Joe Satriani and Steven Wilson. The musician has previously released many eclectic solo albums and has consistently toured and written with The Aristocrats. You can view our review of Minnemann’s latest solo LP, Celebration, below.
As expected with most of his releases, the weird level dial is set to 11 within seconds. The opener, “Miami,” glosses jelly-filled guitar and horn parts over punk speed percussion. Psychedelia drives the title track along as Marco showcases his distinctive vocals amongst his other peculiar bells and whistles. With a more straight forward rocker approach, “It Always Seems” has a surprisingly stadium rock appeal, while the musicalities drift back to abnormal as “March of the Living Dead” struts in.
A subtly infectious melody is hidden in the ever-shifting tempos and rhythms within “How Can I Help You,” an absolute epitome of Minnemann’s solo talent. Blippy bass lines accompany a sentimental duet on “What Have You Done.” To continue the emotional driven compositions, “Greatest Gift In Life” reveals a softer side of the wacky musician. “Print Club” serves as the ideal centerpiece with a ten minute-long quirky keyboard and guitar vs. zany bass and percussion battle waging on.
“Ugly Sunrise” winds down the energy before building right back to a lively and bombastic peak. Both an English and Spanish version of “Everyone Likes a Rainbow” are presented, which contrasts simple spoken word over light instrumentation. Acoustic guitar is debuted for “Have a Great 3015,” a playful jam that also is fair play as a Marco-in-a-nutshell track. The tone and liveliness of “4000” is a bit low, halting the inclusive zest, yet providing a deserving, dynamic interlude.
Jazzy moods clash with the ambitious synths on “Thoughts Take Shape” that eventually arrive to a catchy arpeggiated pattern. Vocals come back for “Eclipse” and guide the listener through the schizophrenic soundscape of a dark folksy, progressive tune. On “Amina’s Birthday,” the spotlight shines down on Minnemann’s jangly guitar riffs while heavy distortion is coated on the closer track, “Better Place.”
Like always, the word ‘unpredictable’ comes to mind. Of course, there are the more inevitable audial and stylistic characteristics present in this release similar to the past, yet these songs continue to lather on more twists and turns. Marco Minnemann’s knack to both baffle and amaze remains a strong suit and in entirety, Celebration holds an astonishingly enjoyable cohesion.