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Darren Michael Boyd – ‘Last Seen In Canada’

Independent Release
Joe Satriani, John 5, Alice Cooper
Release Date
Independent Release
Instrumental Hard Rock/Spooky Surf

Having been a sideman in several notable outfits, including Canada’s Famous Underground and having released two other solo albums, Boyd is showing his skills merit a spot at center stage. ‘Last Seen…’ is a fine collection of varied Hard Rock and “Spooky Surf” music. Yes, I was intrigued by that description as well. Truth be told, the “spooky” component is more displayed in his previous efforts. Still, ‘Last Seen’ has some mighty fine moments. 

 The “Surf” vibe is in full effect on “Melting Beneath the Moon” and “Spider Jewel.” “Moon” is fairly standard echo-laden fare, but with enough unexpected jabs to keep things interesting. “Jewel” melds The Cure’s ‘Seventeen Seconds’ album with vintage Los Straitjackets. I’ll let that sink in a bit. 

There are many unconventional pairings here. Mid 80s Prince-tinged funk (“Amphibian Rhapsody”) and a supercharged chugfest is mixed with proggy Beatlesque interludes (“1692-1982”) are high points.

The crown jewel is “Solitary Green Witch.” Highly atmospheric and tailor-made for your favorite Hard Rock horror flick or just a cool stand-alone jam. I found myself playing this track more than a few times. 

Reportedly, Boyd was injured in a car accident some years ago. Subsequently, he had to alter his playing technique, and the result is this intriguing style of music. I’m not sure of the nature or extent of his injuries, but he can pull off tasty licks like this, I am inclined to offer an additional tip of the hat. 

My only detraction is his songs are too darn short. Many times, I was into a nice little groove, wondering what was around the bend and poof…it’s over. Consequently, the album tends to feel unfinished in places. With a little more grooming, this little gem could shine even brighter.

"surfs up!"

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