For over twenty years Mike Dekleva has been composing his own brand of instrumental music. Dekleva is inspired by the likes of Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson and Andy Timmons and it does come across in his recent four-song release entitled Synergy. Dekleva who handles the lead guitar work on the album enlisted a couple of players including Robbie Calvo (guitar), Jason Webb (piano/keyboard), Amanda McCoy (bass) and Grady Saxman (drums/percussion).
Instrumental guitar rock is a niche that I have found either people get or just don’t. There isn’t a whole lot of in between. Dekleva hasn’t done anything radically different on this EP that will turn people who have listened to artists like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai but will satiate people who all have an appreciation for the genre.
The production and recording quality is top notch. Synergy was recorded at a professional studio and the proof is in the pudding. Everything sounded good and the guitar has a warm, inviting distortion, which was pleasant and easy on the ears.
The EP kicks off with “Lost” which initially has an atmospheric “new age” feel which I think was induced by the piano. About a minute in it transitions to a soft rock vibe where Dekleva pulls off some solid lead work. He leaves a lot of space between the notes and doesn’t rush the pace with blaring lead work right off the bat. Towards the end it starts to open up a bit. It’s a good opener that sort of eases you into the music.
The second track “Drive (Feat. Robbie Calvo)” has more energy. There aren’t any lulls in this song but there is some cowbell, which I can always appreciate. I was pleasantly surprised with slap bass, which sort of stole the show from the guitar on the title track. The bass work in exceptional alongside the smooth leads. Dekleva closes with “Midnight Sky” which is a relaxing, tranquil song with hints of nostalgia
Synergy isn’t reinventing instrumental guitar rock but is certainly a welcome addition to the genre.
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