With Joe Olnick, we are talking about a musician who has paid his dues and has absolutely no problem displaying his musical chops. He is a multi-instrumentalist, as well as a producer and recording engineer, with six albums behind him. Iguana, a six track EP, is his latest musical offering.
This six track EP starts with “Sticky Floor Nightclub” – yeah, we have all been there- and the groove instantly reminded me, for a fleeting moment, of Ian Dury’s “Sex And Drugs And Rock n Roll”. But then it settled into a groove that the great man himself – James Brown – could live with before it mutates into guitar solo heaven.The second track “Don’s Theme”, displays the musicianship and lovely tone of Olnick’s guitar work, in the same vein as a young Peter Greenwood. “February 2nd” hints at Olnick’s ambient ambitions, but only a hint, as it clocks in at a measly 25 seconds. Equally stingy is the acoustic track “Why” that the great Steve Howe would have been proud of in his early Yes years pomp. The EP ends with the upbeat “Hot Rocks”, which is a lot mellower than the title would suggest, and builds on a nagging guitar motif, leading to a highly satisfactory conclusion.
The Iguana EP is an apt introduction to anyone who isn’t familiar with Joe Olnick’s musical catalogue. The compositions are highly technical, the musicianship top-notch. And don’t be put off by the EP’s cover, the six tracks within are much, much more subtle, and worth a thorough investigation.