I went to a rock show, as I do. When a rock show is a CD release, I usually pick it up. We need to support our musicians and this way I know I’ve done my part. A few weeks ago I grabbed Guelph guitarist Nick Johnston‘s latest CD, In A Locked Room On The Moon. I really had no idea what to expect as there isn’t a lyricist/singer to be found on any of the ten songs on the album. I grew up loving Sci-fi movies, space themed Lego and He-Man. So as soon as I opened the disc and gazed upon the artwork of Mark Rehkopf I knew I was going on a journey.
In A Locked Room On The Moon opens with “The Evil Stepsister”. It’s a little crunchy and inspires mischievous thoughts. You don’t know where Nick Johnston is taking you but the groove is so thick you don’t care. The diversity of all the musicians that appear on this album is unreal (look it up on-line, it’s seriously impressive) and the way they all seem to play off of each other is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle that is this album. The lead on “Even If It Takes A Lifetime” is understated and chill while the hard rockin’ blues of “Trick Question” could have appeared in your favourite movie about any town with tumble weeds and tough-guys. Midway through you find “Sandmonster”. It’s a Latin inspired song and the album’s first official single. “IALROTM” incorporates all of the styles of guitar you’ve heard before but without ever going full blues, full hard rock, full metal or full any genre. I felt like I was taken on a trip, via rocket ship, to all the important stops in guitar rock history.
So why doesn’t Nick Johnston get a few featured vocalists to come in and collaborate? It couldn’t hurt, could it? I now know that when you have the talent-pool that Nick Johnston is part of and surrounds himself with, you really don’t need the help.