Rene Benton is a guitarist from Omaha, Nebraska and now a resident of Las Vegas. For this release, the successor to ‘Xpressions’, he is accompanied by various musicians including bassists Philip Bynoe and Kelly Conlon, drummers Atma Anur and Paul Vowell and "funk guitar legend" Charlie Singleton from Cameo.
There are 12 instrumental tracks on this release, packed into just 32 minutes, hence, the 'Short Storeez' part of the title. Before listening to the album, I expected to hear some soulful, funky guitar work but what we actually get is some very heavy, almost '80s thrash style guitar, with drumming to match. The first couple of tracks have an Eastern feel to them, with the second cut, 'EastmeetsWest', featuring some nice sitar work. However the rest of the tracks do not have anything in particular that makes them stand out and they tend to blend together.
There is no doubting Benton's ability as this is amply showcased but, not being a guitarist or musician myself, it is difficult to pick up on any nuances that more knowledgeable ears might be expected to. As such, I guess that this release is probably aimed at an audience that is familiar with playing guitar as, I feel, it can only be fully appreciated by a fellow guitarist or muso. As previously stated, and as a layman in musical terms, Benton's skill is plain to hear but I'm afraid the finer points pass me by, and the album’s not as entertaining as it could be.
XPRESSIONS TOO!!! - SHORT STOREEZ
Review by Dave Uphill
29th Feb 2016
1) Push/Pull; 2) Eastmeetswest
3) Nation of Struggle
4) Clone Theory; 5) Part of Me
6) This is Life
7) Drone 3.3
8) Thingz Happen
9) Lyfe Support
10) Green Light Go!!!
11) V.U.S. (veryuncomfortableshooz)
12) Open Air
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...some very heavy, almost '80s thrash style guitar, with drumming to match."