by Walter Price
There are a few things you can take to the bank when it comes to Scottish (via Brazil) guitar player and songwriter Alex Rech. First, the guy has heart, secondly is that he knows his rock history and thirdly is that he has a solid future in the music business.
I was extremely surprised when I got my ears on his first single Heading East from the recently released My Way Is The Highway EP (Bandcamp) with its southern rock flare and limited guitar theatrics. I was thinking the full six tracks on the new one would be along those lines and a break from what his band Driller had been doing. But fear not my metal headed friends. Rech, after the opening track, went all stops between Blue Oyster Cult, Steve Vai and Van Halen. Sometimes all in one track! I have no doubt Rech is a strong guitar talent but I have to say that his hard work gets muddled when he adds all the extra screamin’ axe work and technical knowhow when it isn’t needed. Alex, WE KNOW YOU CAN ROCK!!
What is also clear on this EP is that Rech is growing as a lyricist. Again going back to the best track on the collection, Heading East, which shows a real knack for complete journey in song as well as the tracks “The Bridge to the Isles of the Sea” and “You Know”. Real promise and I hope to hear more from the mighty man from Brazil!
Alex was super cool and sent over this track by track. Be sure to click the track title to hear and purchase the tunes.
The shoreline of Brazil is located along the entire east coast of South America. Heading east means that you are heading that way to spend your holidays at stunning beautiful sunny beaches with friends and family. The feeling of excitement you have before setting out on this journey was what inspired me to write this track. A couple of production ideas such as: the sound of a car’s engine (at the start of the song) and the actual track ending as if it was being played on the radio were used to reinforce the theme and lyrics of the song. Heading East is a feel-good straight-up rock song and the most radio-friendly track of the EP. I had no musical reference when writing this song so I cannot relate it to any other artist or song.
The intro of this song might remind the listener of Blue Oyster Cult’s The Reaper. Although the tempo and key of the two songs are different, they both share the same type of chord progression (VI – V – IV – V) and they both are of minor tonality. Heart’s Barracuda and Survival’s Eye of the Tiger are also influences that can be noticed in the song’s verse (0:25s).
The lyrics are about a woman who is a dreamer and who is not concerned of what people will think of her when she does things that nobody can understand. She is willing to pay the price and take any risks in order to see her dreams come true. Stranger is a song that has the 80’s hard rock influence to it.
Jimi Hendrix’s song Third Stone from the Sun and the film of the same name (Third Stone from the Sun, 1995) were the initial source of inspiration for writing this epic progressive-rock song. Hendrix’s use of the Lydian mode influenced me to set the mood for the track whilst the film and then later, a photograph of a bridge in the sunset, inspired me to write the lyrics for it.
You Know is an R&B song with a rock attitude to it. It is a love song about choosing not to give up on a romantic relationship when a difficult situation arises. The influence of American songwriter Richie Kotzen can be heard in the overall sound of this track. Kotzen’s Twist of Fate and Larger Than Life are songs that have the same kind of musical vibe as You Know.
This song is based and inspired on the Warriors of the Light expression, which is used, by multimillion-selling Brazilian author, lyricist and novelist, Paulo Coelho. It means:
“We are all capable of understanding the miracle of life, of fighting to the last for something we believe in…” (Coelho 1997)
This is another tune that I am not aware of being musically influenced when writing it. Sometimes I write songs simply inspired by live events or things of the imagination and the musical content comes from the sub-conscious mind.
I wrote Live On for the Edinburgh-based progressive rock band Driller. As a result of very positive feedback received from Driller fans I decided to do an acoustic version of it. Also, Live On was released as a single in 2010, but it was not extensively marketed. This project seems to be a good opportunity for me to present Live On to a wider audience.
This song was written at a time I was under heavy influence of Foo Fighters’ Wasting Light, which served as a sonic reference for the creation of it.