by Andrew McNiece
Gary Schutt is an unsung hero of this scene. A prolific songwriter who never fails to inject his own brand of humor into the lyrics he writes, Gary has been writing and recording music for longer than most (including himself) can recall! On his latest release we get a glimpse into his past.
The Palisade CD is a collection of songs Gary wrote back in his High School and College days, recorded fresh this year. It makes for a nice mix of the old and new.
Old songs in that classic 80s melodic rock style of Journey, Styx and Van Halen, but without a dated production sound.
You get the usual charm of Gary's voice, a definite 80s melodic hard rock vibe and some quite impressive guitar work throughout.
Some of the album is as heavy as I have heard from Gary (Line Of Fire and Why Do You Treat Me This Way for example) and elsewhere the usual melodic rock charm shines through.
Essential for Gary Schutt fans and worth checking out for those into the classic American radio sounds of the 80s.
H R H - R E V I E W S
by John Kindred
Comments: Choosing to go back and revisit the past Gary Schutt's latest musical project called Palisades is a time traveler's journey back to his time spent at Berklee. The band existed as three different versions back in the '80s and early '90s, and from that time period Schutt has gathered together a compilation of songs, re-recorded them as a special tribute to his past. The music is a defining moment of Schutt's career as a musician.
Wow! The music on Palisade is punchy and energetic. The tempo is upbeat and driving. Musically it is like Night Ranger and Steve Vai smooshed together on steroids. Vocally pin pointing who Schutt sounds like is like pulling a needle from a hay stack. The man certainly has his own voice.
Songs like "Lost In Paradise," "Palisades," "Line of Fire," "Say Goodbye," alright almost every song on the CD are quite memorable … the vocal hooks and melodies are instantly absorbed into your brain and easily recalled whether humming them or all out singing them. "Stranger to Your Heart" a balls to the wall rocker has a Kansas vibe, big chorus and a solid rhythmic progression.
The hooks and catchy rhythmic progressions continue on with the confines of songs like "With A Stranger," "Imperfect," and "First Love." "Believe" probably the only true ballad on Palisades gives the CD a bit of a breather pulling the tempo back just a little. "Hot Teaser" turns the tempo back up, gets a little funky and whimsical and then just flat out rocks out.
Palisade is every bit a '80s rock time warp. Schutt wouldn't deny this. The songs are bold, lavish and feature melodic guitar riffs, heavy drumming and huge vocal choruses with vocal harmonies. Schutt's Vai-ish guitar solos are still a focal point of his songs and sound awesome. Schutt is a smart musician. He has a fine sense for melody and a knack for writing catchy songs. It doesn't hurt that he is a well studied musician. His time at Berklee has served him well.
Recorded at Shut up Studios IV.
All songs written, performed, produced, arranged, engineered, mixed and mastered by Gary Schutt.
Photography by Jim Dorian.
Artwork by Gary Schutt.
Copyright 2006 Shut Up Music (BMI/NMPA).
Shut Up Productions P.O. Box 15536 Clearwater FL 33766-5536
lyrics at www.GarySchutt.com/paradiselyrics