Jim Allchin: Q.E.D.
Florida’s Jim Allchin takes blues guitar to arena-rock levels on his sophomore effort, Q.E.D, screaming and squealing and soaring throughout the album’s thirteen tracks. With a voice better suited for weddings than concert halls and less-than-creative lyrics teaming with over-the-top sexual innuendos and blues clichés (I’m looking at you, “Goin’ downtown, you say I’m too fast/I’m overheatin’, got a hot crankshaft”), Allchin’s virtuosic guitar capabilities more than compensates.
“Stop and Go” kicks off the album with a rollicking boogie beat and a guitar that screeches like a train wreck, heralding an upbeat and guitar-heavy record. The Latin-tinged “Evil Minded Woman,” which follows a bit later, is quite enjoyable despite some flat lyrics, thanks to a solid backing band alongside horns from the New York Brass, not to mention some of the bluesman’s most formidable soloing on the record.
Allchin’s Brian May-style shredding can be heard all through the record, but it is in some of the more restrained moments where the virtuoso shows his true talents. Instrumental tunes like “Chime Blues” and “Thinking of You” and the swelling “Drownin’” show off a musical subtlety that is otherwise underrepresented. Nonetheless, the album finishes off on a high note with “No Way Out,” a Latin-rock instrumental that would be impressive to hear even if it were found on a Santana record.