The first time I listened to Gwyn Ashton’s Solo Elektro, I did so blind and without any prior knowledge. I found myself wondering why his drummer only used a bass drum. Then I realized Gwyn Ashton’s drummer was the same as his guitarist, as his vocalist. This is a forgivable mistake because the wall of sound created in Solo Elektro never feels like a one-man job, making Solo Elektro even more of an achievement.
Solo Elektro opens with “Metaphysical Journey’s” memorable opening riff, with heavy fuzz, and with that one riff, Ashton sets a mood of sixties-psychedelia for the entire album. This gives a greater sense of completion when Ashton reprises the song at the end of the album, and like many of the best reprisals in music, fits with the lyrics and the entire album, making the listener feel like they went on a metaphysical journey of their own. The pace picks up with the fiery “She Won’t Tell Me,” which feels familiar while still refreshing. The album largely centers around Ashton’s fuzzy psychedelic guitar riffs, which grow more impressive considering Ashton is singing and playing drums at the same time, no easy feat. If I were to criticize Solo Elektro, it can sometimes drag on, with songs sounding too similar to one another for my tastes. However, when a similar sound is good, this can be forgiven.
Gwyn Ashton greatly impresses with his multi-instrumentalism in Solo Elektro, delivering a true “one-man-band” listening experience that seldom comes along in as polished a way. He brings enough recognizable riffs and effective songwriting to make Solo Elektro well worth a listen.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Metaphysical Journey
– She Won’t Tell Me
– I Guess That’s What They Call Love
– Kind To Be Cruel
The Big Hit
– She Won’t Tell me
Review by Mark Hunstein