by Jeb Taylor
Imagine a somewhat pissed-off Joe Satriani leading a ferocious hard-funk trio. Sometimes angry, sometimes melodic, but always in the groove, JRZ System has a four-tune CD that reeks of rock. Technically, these guys are monsters. Guitarist Mark Zavon can play just about whatever he wants, from long runs all over the neck to rippin’ distorto-chords. Any bass-player who employs two-hand tapping to fry your aural senses gets a thumbs up from me, and Troy Johnson gets two. In the seven-minute “Safari Boots,” Troy uses the electric bass to play a tapped lead melody. Oh yeah. That’s the stuff. The tune “Mind Transplant” does exactly that; crank this puppy to 11 and feel your brain ooze out your ears. JRZ System could do a little bit more in terms of composition, but this is only a four-song EP. I’d be psyched to get a full-length (hint-hint, wink-wink, nudge-nudge). Some of these musicians’ individual talents have already been acknowledged by assorted musician-type magazines. And by the way, this tribe of shredders comes from Nebraska. Fucking Nebraska. I guess there’s more out there than a bunch of corn and 311.