Andy Basiola is an Italian guitarist based in London. He started playing guitar at the age of 12, growing up listening to artists such as Randy Rhoads, Jimi Hendrix, and Gary Moore, and graduated from BIMM, one of Europe’s leading music colleges, in 2010. Basiola has been writing and recording music with rock bands Kill for Eden and Future Shock, working with top producers such as Phil Kinman (Doogie White, Tank, Driven) and Ade Emsley (Iron Maiden, Steve Harris, Voodoo Six). In 2015 Basiola joined the Toxic Twins, an Aerosmith tribute band, as lead guitarist, and that same year was selected to take part in the 'Vivaldi Metal Project' album, a project involving musicians from all over the world including Rick Wakeman, Mark Boals, and Michael Lepond. As if that’s not enough to keep him busy, he's also an experienced guitar teacher. The EP, 'Behind The Illusion', was recorded at MTR Studios in London, produced by Rory Kay (guitarist for the band In Search of Sun) and mixed/mastered by Phil Kinman (Doogie, White, Tank, Driven), and was released via CdBaby on 19th January 2018.
The first track, ‘The End of The Road’, features Gaz Twist (Killit) on vocals, with a seductively deep and sexy performance. The rhythm section is solid and tight, the structure reliable and familiar, and features a big-league guitar solo. There is a nice tune, an unbearably catchy chorus - “moving on, it's the end of the road” - and just after the 4 minute mark, the track edges up a notch with more passion and higher energy. Personally, I love this track, mainly for the honey-coated vocals and tasty guitar solo. 8/10
‘Let's Rock n Roll’ has a funky twangy guitar-led intro which immediately gets me moving, turning into an 80s vibe rock track with gnarly vocals from Gadd McFly (Night Screamer). This is a southern-blues-glam rock hybrid of sorts with hairy vocals and a devilish riff. At about 2:30 the beat slows, the vocal becomes warmer, followed by a finger-flying guitar solo to be proud of! A booming drum brings it all back to the chorus and then McFly lets his scream loose. Fun, entertaining, rowdy towards the end, and some truly impressive guitar-work. 7/10
The next track is the slower-paced ‘Selfish Love’, which starts out like a ballad but rocks out at the chorus. McFly is on vocals again, higher-pitched and gentler in this song, emotional and sentimental but displaying anger/desperation in the chorus. I think I would've preferred a deeper vocal. At 2:55 there is a dazzling bluesy guitar solo, followed by captivating keys from Isaac de Los Reyes. The drums give an edge which balances nicely with the gentler vocals and means the track is more tender and demonstrative than saccharine and dewy-eyed. 7/10
‘Our First Revolution’ is an instrumental track, which I don’t normally go for, but this song is enough without the vocal and keeps me gripped throughout. The combination of guitarists and their united skill showcases how truly beautiful the instrument can be. This is a totally scrummy guitar-fiend's dream come true. A clean, simple drum beat and enigmatic keys complete the picture. You HAVE to listen to this. 7/10
The final track, ‘Go’, is understated and effortless, with a southern-rock feel, a slow-tempo hoe-down with Helen Hurd on vocals. I can smell the horses and taste the whiskey… Hurd's powerful voice ties together a blend of blues, folk and country. The only reservation I have is the use of Americanisms (“highway”) by a London-born singer - personally I prefer artists to stick to what they know but that's personal preference. This track is charming and enjoyable but it doesn’t grab me by the balls (figuratively speaking obviously) like the others. 6/10
Basiola is clearly a talented guitarist with an ear for good music and an eye for talent. His debut EP showcases his love for, and strength with, the guitar and features five songs that get better with repeated play. Best track, for me, is ‘The End of The Road’ - I love the blend of the vocal with the music - followed closely by ‘Our First Revolution’. This is an exciting debut and I look forward to hearing more from Basiola.
The End of The Road (feat Gaz Twist on vocals)
Let’s Rock N Roll (feat Gadd McFly on vocals)
Selfish Love (feat Gadd McFly on vocals, Isaac de los Reyes on keyboards)
Our First Revolution (feat, guitar solos from Martin Goulding and Jan Citak)
Go (feat Helen Hurd on vocals)
To find out more about Andy Basiola check out the following links: