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Lonero is a guitar driven instrumental quartet hailing from California whose 10-track affair JFL emits a serious ‘80s metal guitar hero vibe. From the sweeping lead guitar solos to the driving rhythms, this troupe does an exemplary job of presenting memorable music (“Giant”) despite a lack of a frontman, often allowing band leader Bill Lonero’s distinct six-string tones and phrasings to perfunctorily pick up the slack (“New Song”). While not as flashy or technical as a Vai or Satriani, Lonero finds a comfort zone between shred and groove, providing a subtle self-edited excursion of soaring instrumental hard rock and metal that focuses on song structure rather than unnecessary noodling (“Oblivion”). Striking a balance between George Lynch, Kirk Hammet, and Eddie Van Halen, Lonero cranks out the kind of album that begs to be taken in a fast car on the open road.
- Mike SOS