First, I have to agree in general with what people are saying about this one ; to me , this is Bill at his 'best'.
It's a mostly very accessible mix of tunes that obviously has a broad appeal to fans of rock-type electric guitar work,
so these aspects are already well talked about . It is rock , what I think rock is and should be about, to a fairly large
degree, but as with Bill's work, it's also more than what it might seem to be on the surface . Staying on the surface of
something like this quickly becomes impossible, because the layers pull us in and we can't help but start to explore it's
depths, and this is , of course, the whole purpose , the purpose of us (to my view), and of the music, to go deep.
On the surface, the alternating structure of Ampex - Rock - Ampex is unique and interesting , but this also quickly
gets more interesting. I found the Ampexii (Ampexes or Ampexions ?) acting like strange and wonderful dimensional
portals , wormhole tunnels of sound and subtle music, transferring me from one Nelsonian realm to the next . More than
that though , more than disassociated adjoiners of one piece to the next, some are subtle enough to allow the memory-
replay of the previous tune to continue and metamorphose homeopathically (to borrow Bill's own concept of subtle musical
self-influence) along with the Ampex itself , before delivering the consciousness at it's next destination , beginning a new
adventure. This effect is very fascinating ; another manifestation of the richness below the surface of things.
Back on the surface again, riding the wild waves of wonderful electric , eclectic, guitar noise , things get very interesting
very fast . Most of the lively , rock tunes are flawless, forceful , and utterly fantastic. There is always an impeccably-arranged
layering of guitar sounds in Bill's lively tunes, and these in no way fail to thrill on all their levels , and do fulfill me on all of mine.
These songs are big, bold, ballsy , and beautiful , and sound like the apex of production work for this kind of music . Of course
there are echoes of previous work, and familiar melodic themes, but (as usual) they are always woven into new, individual , iconic
lines . 'Archetypal' is a word I've often used about Bill's music , and these tunes are among the better recent examples of archetypes
he's come up with, for my personal taste . There are a couple of rowdier, less 'pretty' tunes here that I won't listen to as much as
others , but overall , the cd is a real tour de force of twangmanship , and of course, Bill's in a league of his own as far as sonic
creativity ; the Tonemeister Extraordinaire .
The Ampexions are sublime ; I think they are a perfect set of side dishes for what otherwise might be an assault of heavier
fare. Normally, I make mixes that don't change pace nearly as much as this cd, but the way these alternate seems at once an
essential approach . No doubt I'll try the Rockers by themselves, and the Ampexions alone , together , sometime, but for now
there's a spirit and a flow that the sequence has , that works brilliantly , and makes it one of those rare cd's I can pop on and enjoy the
whole thing , and I don't say that lightly . Overall , Bill's tunes don't work at a high level on me more often than they do, and that's
just the way I am , but I love almost all of these tunes . I was particularly interested to hear that the Ampexions were all almost
completely done with guitars . This cd immediately takes it's place among Bill's great ones , in my not-actually very humble opinion .
On the critical side , there are usually a few songs on a cd that just don't work well for me, and sometimes only a couple or a
few that do . Critical about other cd's , that is , because it's hard to find anything at all off about this one. I have to call it like
I see it, and I see it as a triumph . It's not even really about it being largely 'rock' , as opposed to other-flavored cd's Bill has put out
in the past. It's about the machine in high gear , the groove that starts working from the start and doesn't stop, the words and music
that flow with a synergy that's rarely matched , the songs where everything fits together just so and sounds just so right . It can be a
fine line, because I'm so dreadfully fussy about what I listen to , but with JTA -after 5 days now of almost nothing else( just my own
acoustic tunes in-head from practicing them) - there hasn't been any burnout , any annoyance , any real boredom, mostly just a
growing appreciation of what I'm hearing . I think this one's going to be a classic , and Bill, I think it's better than you think , even though
I know that you don't think what I think you think . Congratulations on a genuine masterwork . It's great rock and roll, and so much more .
That's it; I'm going back into the bushes to lurk. Not-posting for a change is suiting me well