Tastes Like Rock Magazine

The Sean Baker Orchestra - Game On!!


Shredguy Records

Posted 8/5/15 - 2:25 AM ET  

Tastes Like Rock - The Sean Baker Orchestra - "Game On!!" Review
Tastes Like Rock - The Sean Baker Orchestra - "Game On!!" Review

The Sean Baker Orchestra crosses genres and explores the boundaries of instrumental/shred style metal while infusing it with a shot in the arm, with the mentioned cross pollination. It's easy to get burnt out on instrumental metal, skill respecting the skill in composing and performing that the artists presenting the music have, but burnt out nonetheless as even listening to the best guitarists in the world. Songs and styles begin to meld together, but The Sean Baker Orchestra gives a nice shot to the system with guitarist Sean Bakers approach to composing and his skill in performing. He explores new angles with his compositions, not every song on Game On!! breaks the mold, but a good number do and even the songs that don't give a finer definition to the genre and that is to be respected as much as breaking new ground.

Emotion flows as much as thundering riffs and slamming beats, a point I always praise when instrumental metal... any metal to be honest, achieves this. In metal it's too easy to get lost in speed and precision that the point of music can get buried a bit too deep, Baker's writing makes sure it doesn't.

That said, precision is never lost in any of the songs on this album, it is in fact pumped as much as possible without losing the the energy and emotional content in the compositions of the music or the lyrics on the two songs that feature vocalists. Engrossing and attention holding, Game On!! keeps the listener blasting the album as a whole from start to finish every listen. There really is no other way to take in Game On!!. While not a concept album per se, while this reviewer could be wrong there, I don't know how Sean Baker envisioned this album as he wrote most of the songs on it solo, one song to another doesn't feel the way a concept album that's written to be a concept album normally flows; it does pull you in like one. Trust me, you're not going to want to cherry pick Game On!!

Track List:

  1. Prelude to War
  2. Shrapnel in your Ear (feat. Marc Rizzo, Toby Knapp, and Bruce Bouillet)
  3. Hercules' Box
  4. Coming Up Roses
  5. D.T.O.C.
  6. Ruth Ann
  7. Necessary Evils (feat. Jeff Martin)
  8. In the Moment
  9. Diminished Hate
  10. Sir Duke
  11. Spooky (feat. Ronny Munroe)
  12. Game On!!
  13. Bouree in E Minor

Choice cuts are "Prelude to War", "Shrapnel in your Ear", "Necessary Evils", and the title track.

The Sean Baker Orchestra gets a solid 4 out of 5 for Game On!!

The Sean Baker Orchestra is Sean Baker (guitars), Clint Sabon (drums and bongos), and David Donigan (bass). Marc Rizzo supplied solos 1 and 3 on "Shrapnel in my Ear", Toby Knapp supplied solos 4 and 6 on the same track, and Bruce Bouillet supplied solos 7 and 9 also on the same track; Tim Holmes with alto sax on "Sir Duke", Bey Hurt with trumpet also on "Sir Duke". Vocals on "Spooky" provided by Ronny Munroe, and vocals on "Necessary Evils" by Jeff Martin.

For more on The Sean Baker Orchestra visit www.theseanbakerorchestra.com and Like their Facebook page.

- Michael Meade