Racer X: John Alderete (bass guitar); Jeff Martin, Paul Gilbert, Harry Gschoesser.
Personnel: Jeff Martin (vocals); Paul Gilbert (guitar); Harry Gschoesser (drums).
Recording information: Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA.
Racer X's 1986 debut is essentially a showcase for then teenaged guitar prodigy Paul Gilbert. The opening instrumental, "Frenzy," pretty much lays the cards on the table; a mostly unaccompanied survey of Gilbert's jaw-dropping fretboard tricks, it summarizes Street Lethal's modus operandi right at the outset. Gilbert himself described Racer X as "heavy metal with scary guitars," and that's pretty much what you get -- skillfully executed, Judas Priest-style metal (with flag-waving songtitles like "Hotter Than Fire," "Loud and Clear," and "Rock It,") loaded with gobs of Gilbert's virtuosity. Vocalist Jeff Martin adds appropriately Rob Halford-esque howls to the proceedings, and the rhythm section do their part in maintaining the excitement. For fans of the "shred" guitar genre, this album has plenty to drool over. ~ Andy Hinds