Gifted multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Gary Schutt has a respectable solo career, but he is mostly known for being part of Jeff Scott Soto's band. E19 is his own project, a fictitious band to showcase a collection of Schutt's earlier music written from the '80s / '90s, much in the vein of his 2006 awesome release Palisade. The new, fourth E19 album "All's War In Love And Fair" (available October 4th 2016) features those Melodic Rock / AOR composed 25 years ago but freshly recorded 2016 entirely by Schutt.
Schutt started writing original compositions about 1984 and initially recording ideas from cassette to cassette deck then eventually recording and performing all the instruments in his parent's basement on a 4-track recorder, and well into and after his stay at Berklee College of Music.
The band name is named after the practice room at Berklee that, for some reason, was popular with all the metal bands, having the nickname "metal E19".
"All's War In Love And Fair" showcases various aspects from Schutt's immense talent.
He's not only is a terrific guitarist, but also an accomplished vocalist, skilled drummer and essentially, a great songwriter.
We have here wonderful collection of Melodic Rock tunes plenty of hooks, groovy AOR melodies and of course, superb musicianship.
Opener 'I Don’t Wanna Say It' is lovable AOR tune with an '80s feel all over complete with classic synths and a contagious chorus. 'Hiding In My Heart' adds a funky rhythm akin Extreme, 'One Night Of Your Love' sound like a lost '80s Black N' Blue track, while the sweet 'Take Me Away' brings back Danger Danger's more AORish moments.
The driving 'I Don’t Know Why' is one of my favorites recalling George Lynch's awesome early '90s album Sacred Groove, while 'Where Should I Go' is a superb ballad (killer).
'I Love It Live' Shutt puts clear that he is a wizard producer as well making the song sounding like a 'live recording' but in fact it's entirely made into the studio. Another terrific track with an out-of-this-world guitar work.
Holy cow... Gary Schutt in his role of one-man-band has created a Melodic Rock / AOR disc much, much better than many 'big names' in the genre.
A modern day recorded Melodic Rock gem but composed in the glory days that you need to grab immediately.
"MOVING PARTS" album review (2014)
Ever since his amazing performance at MR3, I have been REALLY wanting to do something with guitar genius Gary Schutt. So with his latest release “Moving Parts” to be released just a few months later, I figured that would be my golden opportunity. But as it turns out, the CD was sent to another one of our staffers and then with the holidays and other bullshit, it kinda got lost in the shuffle… but never forgotten! So a few weeks ago, I decided to revisit it again and FINALLY got my hands on a copy and after just one listen, despite the fact that the CD has been out for a few months now, I just couldn’t let this one go unnoticed.
Following in the footsteps of legendary “guitar-driven” artists such as VAN HALEN, Steve Vai, George Lynch and Joe Satriani, Gary’s latest release “Moving Parts” rejuvenates the genre which has been all but stagnant over the past few years. But don’t get me wrong, while it is very guitar-intensive, Gary proves himself to be a talented, multifaceted composer, arranger and producer as well in that “Moving Parts” contains all the solid arrangements, powerful hooks and dynamic melodies you could ask for. In addition, while there are some guest musicians on a few tracks, Schutt performs every instrument on the release himself showing off his versatility and capability to master just about anything that is put before him. It’s no wonder the laundry-list of talented artists Schutt has worked with reads almost like a “who’s who” of the melodic-hard rock world.
“A Million Miles an Hour” is a perfect opener as this edgy, mid-tempo rocker slaps you right in the face with its lusty, guitar-driven melody accented by some precise guitar licks and fills leading into a short, impromptu bridge right before the last verse and chorus just about setting the pace for the entire release.
With its more harmonic-guitar sound, “Half A World Away” has all the elements of a mid-to-late 80’s rocker featuring one of Schutt’s best guitar solos on the release. Absolutely LOVE the A-cappella chorus intro to “Gonna Die Trying” which showcases Gary’s vocals brilliantly before launching into a thick-bass driven arrangement highlighted by numerous breaks and solos representing every instrument used on the song… terrific track and one of my favorites from the release.
“The Precipice” is a short, haunting guitar feature leading into “Until I See You Again.”… one of the more progressive tracks where the vocal effects really remind me of Joey Tempest from some of the more recent, aggressive EUROPE releases. “Fuel to The Fire” continues on in the same vein with almost a bit of a DIO feel as the verse build transitions into another ambitious chorus.
Not since BOWLING FOR SOUP’s “1985” have I come across a track which so cleverly magnifies the decade that I grew up in (the 80’s) until the next track, “Commodore 64.” IMMEDIATELYGary gets bonus points for that and even though anyone born after 1990 won’t “get” the tongue-in-cheek lyrics, this is still a GREAT track with a catchy, toe-tapping melody and sweet, memorable chorus. I must admit, I listened to this one over and over and over again for a while till I just about knew the lyrics frontwards and backwards making this one (for personal reasons) easily my favorite!
“Pornipulation” is “ok.” While I still enjoy the intense and intricate guitar work, solos and fills, the lyrics are a bit uninspired and immature… come on Gary, you can do better than that! “Invisible” redeems the CD in a big way as a high-octane and even maybe a bit of an autobiographical number underscored by a rich, memorable chorus.
As the CD begins to wind down, we come to “Lucky Penny.” This instrumental track again brings Schutt’s mastery of the guitar to the forefront and at some points almost reminds me of an extended version of VAN HALEN’s intro to “little Guitars.” This is followed closely by another instrumental track called “Weapons Down” only this time with the heavier inclusion of bass and percussion parts it has a vibe almost of that of George Lynch going OFF on DOKKEN’s “Mr. Scary.” Then finally we come to the title track “Moving Parts,” a more commercial sounding rocker with Schutt stepping back behind the microphone and delivering a thick, melody-filled verse leading into one final bodacious chorus and the perfect ending to this compilation.
Although Gary Schutt has had his share of success over the years, it still sometimes seems that he remains in the background of some of the more featured artists he has been involved with. It’s about time he is brought more to the forefront with his extraordinary talent and “Moving Parts” is a CD that deserves to do just that. Great job all around and if you’re a Florida native or even just in the area, you gotta check out his website at http://www.garyschutt.com as he plays around there quite a bit and is one performer you certainly don’t want to miss.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Melodic Rock Fest 3 live set review
I've been a fan of Gary Schutt's since his first album Sentimental came out. This guy is such an underrated guitarist, singer and songwriter. He did his "Gary-okee" show at the pre-show party on Thursday night and was a one man party. Both fans and members of Eclipse, No Love Lost and more got up to sing with him, and if you weren't there you missed a great time.
Gary actually did an electric set, but with just himself and his guitar playing along to pre-recorded tracks. His set went as far back as the Playthings album with "Animal Man" but he mainly stuck to newer songs from his instrumental album Loss 4 Words ("Black Cloud" was especially good) and Contingency Plan. I was hoping for some tracks off the classic Sentimental album, especially with Jeff Scott Soto on the bill, but no such luck. He did play some songs from his upcoming album Moving Parts like the pounding "Million Miles An Hour" and the fun ode to his "Commodore 64" but the title track was really great. He told me later that it's his new favorite song, and it's one of mine too.
Puppets In Symmetry (2012)
Jeff Scott Soto's guitarist GARY SCHUTT has been releasing quality solo material for some time now.
"Puppets In Symmetry" is his tenth album to date and consists of 13 tracks which are radio-edited, re-worked, re-mixed versions of songs from his 'Excruciating Pleasure' (2003) and 'Contingency Plan' (2010) CD's plus some extras.
These edits are cut to under 4 minutes and have all the dirty words either taken out or altered. Seems Gary has 'cleaned' the best songs of both albums to pump them into the radio.
And indeed are pretty commercial tracks. Gary is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, but all the material here are vocal tracks focused on the 'song format'.
Schutt goes for a brilliant and crispy sound with punchy, zingy melodies, sharp taut riffs and some buzzing guitars. The stylings ranges from modern rockin' songs to eighties and nineties influenced melodic rockers.
The tracks chosen from the 2003 period such as "Someone New", the catchy "Self Destruction" or the intense ballad "Lost Soul Mate" are more melodic, while the most recent material is more modern as the tight "Bitch (with a capital 'C')" or the commercial acoustics of "Nowhere Fast".
As bonus, we have "Die Another Love", the original Schutt version of the track re-named 'Afraid To Die' appeared in Jeff Scott Soto's recent 2012 album 'Damage Control'.
"Puppets In Symmetry" is a potent selection of songs, well crafted and cleanly structured, cleverly re-worked for the occasion.
This material is really modern sounding, featuring some truly meaty instrumentation full of energy and upbeat pace for the most part.
Gary Schutt does everything on his own, even the singing and the production (which is first rate), so this CD is all done by one man and I have to say it sounds excellent for what it is: modern melodic rock with some frantic overtones.
Really good and kickin' stuff.
(Points: 8.3 out of 10)
by Gabor Kleinbloesem
Florida based multi-instrumentalist GARY SCHUTT returns with a new solo-CD, his 8th already I believe. Once again he did everything on his own and musically he is updating his classic Melodic Rocksound with some of today's modern rock and even a little progrock riffs here and there. However, each of the included 11 songs features a strong Melodic Rock chorus. JAMES LABRIEish vocals/melodies can be heard sometimes, just listen to "Nowhere fast" and you will understand what I mean. Gary started with pure Melodic Hardrock way back when he was doing recordings with JEFF SCOTT SOTO in the early-mid 1990s. He even toured with Jeff for quite some time now (as the bassist), but left in 2005 to concentrate on his solo career. He does everything on his own, even the singing and the production, so this CD is all done by one man and I have to say it sounds pretty good. Actually it reminds me a lot of PHIL VINCENT, who is doing the same kind of Melodic Rock, sounding modern and catchy and also does everything on his own. There's some great stuff here, such as the uptempo "Good enough" that has a very catchy chorus. As much as I like Gary's work with JEFF SCOTT SOTO from the past, even counting his first solo-record and the TAKARA ('Eternal faith') stuff among his best work, this new solo-CD 'Contigency plan' is also very
nice to listen to.
Written by Brian
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Ratings : Brian 6/10
Gary Schutt - Contingency Plan
Jef Scott Soto cohort Schutt has been releasing quality solo material for some time now. We reviewed his 'Loss 4 Words' release back in 2008. But this new recording left me dazed and confused. Surprisingly, it's all vocal tracks, whereas 'L4W' was basically an instrumental album, and a classy affair it was. Here, Schutt has aimed to capture the mood of modern alt rock with punchy, zingy melodies, sharp, taut riffs and buzzing guitars. 'Nobody Special' and 'Better' are fun, frantic poprock, full of energy and punky undertones.
There's no argument it's well crafted and well intentioned. Sometimes you need to change direction when success proves elusive. But occasionally, on (the aptly named) 'Contingency Plan', when he reaches for that something more, that hard-to-pin-down, chord-striking moment, his vocals let a good song down. The metallised 'Love Me For Me' is not a great track but is a good example. The vocals lack the passion and depth the song needs, conversely (and indeed, tellingly), when Schutt's axe solo intervenes, the track takes wing and flies. The moral of the story is . . . well, you fill in the blanks.
Having said all that, a couple of tracks, maybe three, allow for some form of redemption. The progmetal-ish 'Bitch' is a cracker, with Schutt's vocal snarl a neat fit for the narrative, while the more conventional melodic rock track 'Wait Till Sunday' shows just how strong Schutt is at this kind of material. It's a powerful, memorably melodic piece, cleanly structured, ascending to an addictive hook. Elsewhere, there's little variation in the style and pace of the album and a sense of sameness creeps in. It's not until he pulls out heavy hitter, 'Tenfold' - a gritty slice of industrial rock lite - that we are hauled back onto the edge of our seats again.
No question, Schutt's a talented guy - he wrote, produced, mixed and played everything here, but not everyone will be enthusiastic about this change of direction, especially those who are fans of his undoubted prowess as an axeman.
But, then again, what do I know.
LOSS 4 WORDS
(Points: 8.3 out of 10)
Guitarist GARY SCHUTT returns with a new solo-CD titled ‘Loss 4 words’, which as the title predicts is an instrumental record. Gary’s a hero on guitar and throws enough melodies in the 17 songs on this CD to keep you interested all the way through. Musically it is also very diverse and comparisons to an instrumental STEVE LUKATHER, 80s NEAL SCHON and TOMMY DENANDER of course are quite easy.
Highlights are the AORish “Baby dinosaur”, “Skyline” and “Siberian sunburn”. It’s already the 7th CD of Gary, but his first all-instrumental album, which besides Gary also features a list of well-known guest musicians, such as NEAL SCHON (JOURNEY), OZ FOX (STRYPER), BRYAN BELLER (STEVE VAI), HOWIE SIMON (SOTO) and several others. The CD also has a bonus-DVD, which is quite enjoyable too and well all I can say this is something worth checking out if you’re a fan of instrumental Rock with an AOR touch, some Jazz/Fusion material here and there and also feeling like something straight out of the 1980s (read NEAL SCHON’s ‘Late nite’!).
Maybe still not beating his first CD ‘Sentimental’, which had JEFF SCOTT SOTO on vocals, this is another great album from Mr. GARY SCHUTT. More info at: www.garyschutt.com
(Points: 8 out of 10)
An all instrumental guitar album with a punny title, one that (just) fits with the guitarist's surname. Lots of tracks with weird / zany - but eminently descriptive - titles like 'Baby Dinosaur', 'Chinese Firedrill' and 'Tectonic Plate Shake'.
Another Joe Satriani, Neil Zaza, Gary Hoey wannabe. Right?
Be very afraid. Right?
On his seventh album now, Jef Scoto Soto's sometime bassman proves himself once again to be the master of the stringed instrument. Whether it be the four, five or six stringed version. Also, he's not too shabby on keyboards or the studio mixing board.
Yeah, I can hear you yawning, switching off, whatever. But that would be a shame.
'Loss 4 Words' is unarguably one of the best guitar instrumental recordings I've heard for quite some time. Fuelled by imagination, lyrical melodies and driven by a strong, deft hand on the production wheel, Schutt strikes gold, if only metaphorically.
Those who like screaming, lightning quick playing should look away now, because Schutt isn't a shredder, never a "look, no taste" blur of notes guitar player.
Instead, for the most part, 'L4W' is thoughtful piece of work, presented within a carefully controlled environment. That may sound as if it's clinical, sanitised. Not true. The music is filled with ripe melodies, sweet and sour, moving and flowing. Melodies that capture a mood, reflect an emotion. And when it needs to, it rocks. This is guitar music with passion and depth.
If it occasionally strikes a discordant note, it's only because it's impossible to maintain this level of quality over a 17 track, 80 minute recording. Some judicious pruning would have made this album even stronger.
Among the more noteworthy tracks are the rhythmic, funkalicious 'Pants Party', the beautifully Westcoast, Toto-esque 'Intentions' and the cleverly titled 'Loss 4 Words', which is as lyrical an instrumental track as you could imagine.
'Reverse Peristalsis' is as down'n'dirty as the album gets and 'Road Trip' is where Schutt enjoys a little help from his illustrious friends, Neal Schon and Oz Fox.
Elsewhere and without exception, Schutt makes sure there's enough going on behind the curtain to ensure our attention doesn't wane, but never so much as to distract us from the main attraction.
Included in the package is a DVD with alternate versions of various tracks, plus the fabulous but unreleased 'Aftershock', part of Schutt's 'Earthquake' trilogy. And the moderately amusing, deliberately cheesy, 'Baby Dinosaur' music video.
Great deal. Great value. Great music.
By John Haseltine
Best known as touring bassist/guitarist for Jeff Scott Soto, master multi-instrumentalist Gary Schutt offers up his latest creation ‘Loss 4 Words’.
This being Gary’s seventh studio release, he decided to show off his talents on the guitar by writing guitar-based instrumental tunes. This compilation of 17 tracks really shows the extraordinary musicianship of Gary Schutt. Musically the disc is a great listen. It varies through several aspects of rock, hard rock to metal. Nothing really flashy or overbearing as you find with a lot of guitar-based instrumental albums. There is plenty of experimentation through out the disc that really highlights Gary’s influences and writing abilities.
‘Loss 4 Words’ also features some of Gary’s close friends as guest musicians which include Neal Schon (Journey), Oz Fox (Stryper), Bryan Beller (Steve Via, Dethklok), Jim Casey (Hartke’s greatest unsigned bassist) and Jeff Thal (Bumblefoot).
Also included here is a DVD which contains alternate versions of a couple tracks, some unreleased material, music videos and access to exclusive web content. I’ve checked out the web content, and you’ll be surprised. Can’t tell though.
A great new disc by a great musician. Fans of Steve Via, Joe Satriani, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malsteen, Marty Friedman, Vinnie Moore and the likes of will thoroughly enjoy this new offering by one of today’s prized musicians.
from: melodicrock.com by Andrew McNeice
One of the most appealing aspects of Gary's solo work is his quirky lyrics and twisted outlook on life. So the prospect of an instrumental album had me a little worried, but knowing Gary's talent I should not have been. This is a hugely enjoyable selection of diverse tunes featuring Gary delivering his trademark left of center melodic rock style, albeit this time letting the guitar do the 'talking'. He is truly an underrated guitarist and composer and I hope this album provides some due.
Guests such as Neal Schon, Howie Simon and Oz Fox spice things up, but front
and center in charge of most instruments; this is Gary's star vehicle.
Definitely something fans of instrumental rock should investigate and having
an ear for twists and turns is required. A bonus DVD is a good laughSsense
of humor definitely needed!
(4.5 of 6)
New Yorker Gary Schutt is probably best known for his bass duties with Jeff Scott Soto but as always there's more to it than meets the eye. Mister Schutt is not only a fine wielder of the honorably 4-string axe but can perfectly start his own one-man band if he wanted to. He can play drums, keys & everything with strings on. So that's why he plays almost everything himself on his latest & 7th solo installment. Only exceptions to the rule are 'Dain Bramage', 'Kitten With An Attitude' & 'Road Trip' where friends like Howie Simon, Jim Casey & Neal Schon lend a hand.
Schutt is also very obviously a child of the 80's as all his compositions balance between the good old Shrapnel-shredding, Steve Vai/Joe Satriani & the soundtrack of Miami Vice. Listen for example to 'Baby Dinosaur' with its exquisite 80's sounding keyboards and you'll know exactly what I mean.
This is the kind of instrumental record that will hold the listener on edge, seldom bores & is a refreshment in the all to bland instrumental world these days.
The CD comes with an bonus DVD filled with really nice stuff like alternate takes of songs on the album, a video for 'Baby Dinosaur', some trailers & access to web content only accessible when you actually have that DVD inserted in the player of your computer. Cool geek stuff.
(3 1/5 of 5)
In 1986 Joe Satriani opened up a whole new world in the music industry with his first guitar instrumental album "Not Of This Earth". In 1987 "Surfing With The Alien" made the melodic guitar sound familiar to even more people. Joe’s example is still alive and kickin’ with a great number of guitar heroes like Paul Gilbert (ex-MR. BIG, RACER–X), John Petrucci (DREAM THEATER), Marty Friedman (ex-MEGADETH, CACOPHONY) and more; who released their own instrumental albums. Gary Schutt is best known as touring bass player/guitarist for Jeff Scott Soto (ex-Yngwie Malmsteen, TALISMAN, JOURNEY) and with his new album "Loss 4 Words", is entering the instrumental guitar players list.
Gary’s talents on guitar and writing, guitar based, instrumental tunes is printed on this album. Gary plays all the instruments on "Loss 4 Words" and took care the cover art as well, we can safely say that this is an "one-man" album, except that Gary is been blessed with some extraordinary guest musicians, such as Neal Schon (JOURNEY), Oz Fox (STRYPER), Bryan Beller (DETHKLOK), Howie Simon (Jeff Scott Soto, ALCATRAZZ) and Jeff Thal (BUMBLEFOOT).
"Loss 4 Words" is based on the musical talent of Gary Schutt, with the lead guitar sound obviously in the front of the mix along with a lot of keyboard and synth sounds in the background. Many of the drum parts are coming from a MIDI sequencer that makes the final result a little bit out of feel.
The melodies that Gary uses in "Loss 4 Words" remind me of Satriani’s compositions, despite the fact that Joe’s technique is unreachable and hard to copy, but manages to capture this guitar mood.For Example the songs like "Always & Forever" and "Loss 4 Words" are variations of Satriani’s "Always With Me, Always With You", the same feel and major scale with the same background sound.
"Loss 4 Words" also includes a DVD with some unreleased and alternative version of the audio CD songs along with the music video of "Baby Dinosaur".
Gary Schutt obviously wants to make himself a part the G3 line-up and with "Loss 4 Words" he seems to be in a good track. As for myself I will stick to the original Satriani work, for now.
from: planeta rock
Alexis L. Berman
(free translation from Spanish)
I knew to the good one of Gary Schutt there by the year 2002 commanding the viola of Jeff Scott Thicket in the concerts that gave its band in the Annual Convention of Queen in London, and in the Live to the Gods of that year by means of two excellent DVD that were delivered me directly by Gary. And the truth that beyond the printed paraphernalia for one of the better singers of the environment for already various years, excelled he, bassist of this phenomenal frontman, and the violero Howie Simon of style Satrianesco (they excuse if I have just invented a term). With an own style of who they love really what do, both musicians were emphasized above the setting, what serious subsequently a reality, and not only a personal perception. Of this way Gary Schutt, from that moment to the date, already has published at least four disks in study, and in each one of them was known nourished of musicians as Simon, the own Thicket, and now also with the former one Journey, Neal Schon.
Its last plate, Loss4Words, integrally instrumental, gives us forty-six minutes to pure hard rock of the 80s, style that quickly is seen reflected in themes as Baby Dinosaur, Tectonic Plate Shake (well could be part of some soundtrack), and Sin of Cake. The spatial, the famous space rock the hand of the great opening arrives from Black Cloud, Skyline (of it more Steve Vai of all the CD), Wormhole, and finally, Intentions. The funky and blues presents in songs are done like The Parts Party, to be Reviewed Peristalsis (pretty Blues wing blues Saraceno), and Kitten with go Attitude.
But this it is not all, since Loss4Words brings with himself a DVD with the video clip of the fear Baby Dinosaur, trailers, backstage, and versions alternatives to pieces of the first CD. Sincerely I have listened its previous works and I remain with one of its older, Excruciating Pleasures, although I should I say that the sound found here is of the higher in all its career, showing that only is not a very good bassist, but also a noticeable and interesting guitarist.
PALISADE: LOST IN PARADISE (2006)
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.
(Points 8.6 out of 10)
by Gabor Fabian
The only thing missing here is Mr. JEFF SCOTT SOTO, because back in the early 90s multi-instrumentalist GARY SCHUTT started this project, but put it on hold when he went to the Berklee College of Music, where he graduated in the early 90s. he then recorded a bunch of demos, trying to secure a record deal for PALISADE. However it was not until he met JEFF SCOTT SOTO in 1994 when he was able to sign a deal for PALISADE, but the unfortunate thing was there wasn’t a band, just him and Jeff, so they decided to release it as GARY SCHUTT. That first solo-album is a fantastic melodic rockalbum, but now in 2006 Gary went into the archives and re-recorded the original PALISADE recordings from the early 90s on his own. So he played about everything, even singing, which he did quite well actually! Even though the songs were written in the early 90s, the recordings are brand-new and the sound is awesome and this sounds to me like another great melodic rockalbum. It sounds very 80s with a huge sound and a lot of very catchy tunes, with the occasional pure AOR song put in between the more BLUE TEARS/DANGER DANGER kinda melodic rock. If JSS would have sung the 12 included songs, this would have been a killer record, but still Gary does a good job at singing. What to expect, well perfectly produced catchy 80s melodic rock anthems, not far away from DAVID VICTOR, FIREHOUSE, BLUE TEARS, DANGER DANGER, WINTER ROSE, MELIDIAN, TERRA NOVA… Songs like “Lost in paradise”, “Stranger to your heart” (GOD, I love the 80s AOR sound so much, this is such a lovely tune!) and “First love” (SUPERB!) are every AOR/Melodic Rockfan’s dream, catchy, melodic with the big harmonyvocals and melodic rock guitarsound of EDDIE VAN HALEN. Be sure to check this release out if this style is your cup of tea! More info at: http://www.GarySchutt.com I do hope for many more of such melodic rock gems from Mr. GARY SCHUTT in the future, because he is very well in making this sound as good as it once sounded in the 1980s!
by Nicky Baldrian
Here comes Gary Schutt with his new project "Palisade" Gary in his time has performed with artists from Neal Schon and Robin Zander to the amazing Ken Tamplin and Jeff Scott Soto. He has done tours all over the world with JSS and it was so cool to finally watch him perform with JSS at that stunning Gods show in 2002, which you can get on DVD.
Palisade is Schutt's dream band, its a bloody good record that mixes fresh modern rock with classic hard rock. Opening with the immensely catchy guitar fuelled rocker "The Palisades", the CD gets underway to a good frisky start. I enjoyed the catchy Harem Scarem./TNT approach of "Say Goodbye" this has big Steve Vai/Ronni Le Tekro influenced guitar chops, live this would kill, the drums pound, I love it. The funky fun rock of "Dirty Mind" is hugely catchy, one of my fave tracks, whilst "Lost In Paradise" has a looser AOR/melodic feel, the chorus is catchy and drenched in a Vai/Van Halen guitar blitz, very cool.
The furious Dokken/Vinnie Vincent attack of "Line of Fire" is again hyped with exhausting guitars and really rips, top stuff. Next up is the very catchy "Stranger In Your Heart", another strong song layered in keyboards giving it that melodic AOR blend reminding me of Harlan Cage, one of the CD's best tracks. Next track "Why Do You Treat Me This Way", slays with in your face guitar drenched hard rock reminding me of Lynch Mob and 9-0, superb.
The laid back melodic feel of "With a Stranger" again impresses thanks to the nifty funky guitars, where as "Imperfect" is poppy and melodic AOR, not the best track, but ok. Another superb track is the melodic "Believe" Schutt's vocals are very high and the whole track is atmospheric. Highlight for me is "First Love", at the start the song sounds slightly experimental before it launches into a very guitar orientated anthemic melodic hard rocker, during the song the style dips again sounding experimental with strange but effective keys, thus making it one of the standout songs, excellent track.
Last up is the anthemic "Hot Teaser", a very punchy catchy Dokken influenced rocker, perfectly ending a fantastic album that didn't slide except maybe for "Imperfect", but hey out of twelve songs, that isn't bad going, the axe work throughout this CD is very impressive, Gary's vocals are great, the songs well written and performed making this a very satisfying record, it's a punchy fun hard rock record all the way and one that I will be revisiting in the future, cheers Gary, onwards and up for Mr. Schutt.
By Jee Jacquet
(translated from French)
Some musicians have no cease working as much as they can and complete their discography with lots of albums through the years. Gary Schutt is a part of this category of artists and cleans its drawers where some songs composed during his college days were laying. These pieces are now re-recorded but keeps their original spirit ; a reminiscence of the pop/rock of the Eighties. It is said that if you appreciate bands such as Journey, Styx, Van Halen etc... this "Lost In Paradise" is made for you ! Just one listening and we realize that, in spite of Gary's young age, there was already a good amount of talent ! Songs are well crafted ; some contains beautiful melodic melodies and powerful soli. Secured by a current production, this album does not have any element which could seem obsolete. Only the style takes us back to the 80's, which is not unpleasant at all ! " The palisades ", " Dirty mind ", " Lost in paradise " with its Journey influence, " Line of fire " with a more powerful register, the superb " Stranger in your heart " which is a real melodic hard rock anthem in the style of Treat or any other bands in this genre, and some other tracks (almost all of them in fact !) are a pure enjoyment for the ear. Gary plays all instruments, sings, produces and everything shows his abilities and qualities as an accomplished artist. This cd is recorded under the name of Gary's old band : Palisade and it has to be considered as something different in GS solo discography. Anyway " Lost In Paradise " is a pretty good CD you can buy without no hesitation. The man is currently working on his next solo album and the new song we can hear ( and see) on YouTube is a killer one !
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.
by Johnny Forslund
To start with I will let you know that this is a collection of songs Gary wrote back in his high school and college days. He decided to re-record them again into a better shape so here we go.
Guitarist, bassist, drummer, vocalist, pianist, composer and producer. Well, that´s Gary Schutt in a nutshell. He sure knows how to handle an instrument and he is a great singer too. He show that on this cool collection of late 80s and early 90s songs. Melodic rock or aor. It´s all there. It´s nice and neat. Classic tunes all over the disc and for a whiled I thought i was listening to some journey music. The production is dry, but somehow it´s perfect for this melodic treasure. It´s not perfect but so personal and devoted. Gary sure knows how to turn music into feelings that digs it way into a lost melodic heart that are in a desperate need for some classic moments. This is something you can share with the one you love. Listen to the song “First Love” and i think you´ll get the picture. “Lost In Paradise” is made for burning hearts. Promise to give us more of this Gary.
DRAMATICALLY ACOUSTIC (2005)
Gary Schutt – Dramatically Acoustic (2005)
Gary Schutt has decided to switch hats this time around, and tone the proceedings down for an acoustic retooling of songs from his various solo releases. ‘Dramatically Acoustic’ is, in fact, dramatically different from what we’ve come to expect from Gary. The overall vibe is much like having Gary perched on a stool in your living room for a sing-along. Songs like “Psycho Bitch” and “Enemy Lines” actually work quite well in their kindler, gentler versions. Others, like “Act of Sympathy” and “She’s Letting Go”, are great songs but are somehow lacking, stripped down as they are. In the case of “She’s Letting Go”, a simple maraca or tambourine would have sufficed to lend the rhythmic punch needed (or better yet - drums, as on “I Won’t Be Here”, which also features Gary letting fly with a tasty bit of acoustic soloing). A couple of the more intriguing tracks here are the quiet, unnerving beauty of “Donut” and the pensive “Breathing You In” – both of which expose Gary as a sentimentalist. Also worth mentioning are “Stranded” and a cover of Queen’s “I’m in Love With My Car” – both of which have been performed by Gary with the JSS band in recent years. With ‘Dramatically Acoustic’, Gary Schutt has not necessarily reinvented himself; rather, he has reinterpreted some of his best songs in a new light. To order ‘Dramatically Acoustic’, and to check out Gary’s other releases, go to www.garyschutt.com
(five stars possible)
OVERALL IMPRESSION. Dramatically Acoustic is an appropriate title for this CD from rocker Gary Schutt. The 10-song CD contains a number of previously released Schutt songs performed acoustically, along with two new songs and a cover of the classic Queen song, "I'm In Love With My Car." Not having heard the original versions of these songs, I have nothing to compare them against, but Schutt does a wonderful job on the acoustic guitar and one can hear the depth that is possible in each song if it were submitted to a full-band treatment. The main riffs and chord progressions for songs such as "She's Letting Go," "Act Of Sympathy," and "Enemy Lines," are well-defined on the acoustic. "Donut" stands out as the one song that does not quite fit with the other songs; it does not sound as full as the rest. "Breathing You In" is the best song on the disc, a sentimental yet well-written ballad. "I Won't Be Here" is another great song about friendship gone bad. Gary Schutt's CD is a nice change of pace from the predictable music played on rock radio today, and it definitely is Dramatically Acoustic.
BEST TRACKS. "She's Letting Go," "Enemy Lines," "Breathing You In," "I Won't Be Here."
www.melodicrock.com by Andrew McNiece
I'm a long time fan of Gary Schutt the musician and the person. He is one of the good guys in this business and deserves as much success as possible.
Musically speaking, he has a unique sound while still remaining true to the classic melodic rock genre. Gary also has an amazing knack of lyric writing. He writes from the heart and his inner most thoughts often get cast into his songs, albeit in a unique twisted way. It makes listening to his records ever more enjoyable, as they are lyrically deeper than most.
Gary has served up two new releases – both a little left of center.
Dramatically Acoustic is exactly that – dark, melancholy, brooding and lyrically twisted as expected. It serves up some of his best songs in a stripped back format - just Gary and a guitar. But this acoustic release doesn't stick to the one tempo throughout. There are some raw, honest and totally acoustic tracks (She's Letting Go, Psycho Bitch) and there are others that benefit from extra instrumentation (Enemy Lines and Stranded feature extra percussion and bongos), while others such as the cover of the Queen classic I'm In Love With My Car have Gary singing with a more aggressive, angst ridden vocal.
It makes for a very satisfying listen and is one for both Gary Schutt fans and those taken with passionate songs and acoustic performances.
B-SIDES MYSELF (2005)
Gary Schutt – B Sides Myself (2005)
Wasting no time after returning from a lengthy world tour with Jeff Scott Soto’s band, Gary Schutt has issued ‘B Sides Myself’, a collection of tracks originally intended for release on Gary’s three previous albums. The disc opens with four tunes intended for 2002’s excellent ‘Excruciating Pleasures’ album. “Controlling the Rage”, clocking in at just over nine minutes, is the most epic of the songs here, mixing meaty, creative riffing and an ear for melody. The same strengths can be found in “Left in the Dark” and “Only You Know”. All three songs feature some rather inspired soloing which, at times, brings to mind players like Vinnie & Gary Moore, Steve Vai and Brad Gillis. It should be pointed out that Gary writes and performs everything on ‘B Sides Myself’, and there are indeed a couple moments where it becomes apparent that having so much studio time on one’s hands isn’t always a good thing. “I’m in Love With the Girl That I Hate”, in its original form, was a slightly deranged, yet heartfelt, song that here receives a bit of an ill-advised alt-pop makeover. Same with Gary’s caustic take on “Without You”, which is almost unrecognizable as the Badfinger classic. From the halfway point, the album segues into songs originally meant for Gary’s two earliest albums. Of those, “Behind My Back”, with its driving guitar/piano riffing, stands out as a high point. ‘B Sides Myself’ closes with a spirited cover of Queen’s “Death on Two Legs” (Gary’s version predating the JSS band’s abbreviated take on the song by a year or two). Bottom line – ‘B Sides Myself’ is well-balanced glance back at the music of Gary Schutt up to this point, and the next best thing to a ‘Best of…’ Gary’s songwriting is uniquely off-center, and his guitar playing on this collection of heavy (and sometimes progressive) power-pop songs is often breathtaking. To order ‘B Sides Myself’, and to check out Gary’s other releases, go to www.garyschutt.com.
(five stars possible)
OVERALL IMPRESSION. Gary Schutt's B-Sides Myself is a showcase of this brilliant artist's musicianship. The CD is made up of demos, alternate versions, and songs that didn't make the final cut on other albums. The first song, "Controlling The Rage," is a 9-minute epic hard rock song with a progressive slant, and arguably the best song on the CD. Several of the tracks lean toward progressive rock without losing the hard edge. There are also a couple of covers on the album, the first being "Without You" (recorded in the past by Harry Nillson and Mariah Carey, among others). Schutt truly puts some aggression into this track. The second cover, "Death On Two Legs," written by the late Freddie Mercury and recorded by the legendary Queen, is a bold attempt, and Schutt pulls it off. A couple of tracks don't measure up to the rest on the CD. "Should Have Been Me" and "Warpaint" are the original 4-track recordings of the songs that ended up on the Sentimental album, and honestly they sound out of place on this CD. Overall, however, B-Sides Myself is an excellent collection of somewhat progressive hard rock songs.
BEST TRACKS. "Controlling The Rage," "I'm In Love With The Girl That I Hate (Alternate Version)," "Without You," "Behind My Back."
DISAPPOINTMENTS. "Should Have Been Me (Original Demo)," "Warpaint (Original Demo)."
www.melodicrock.com by Andrew McNiece
On B-Sides Myself Gary delivers some tracks that didn't make any of his previous studio releases. A fully electric release, this album sees Gary work without the confines of set album limitations and deliver some experimental tracks which showcase another side of the rocker.
A couple of alternative versions and a couple of original demos are added to another Queen cover (Death On Two Legs) and 5 other unreleased tracks.
At times these tracks are heavier and feature a more contemporary modern rock sound which definitely pushes some alternative rock boundaries.
One special mention of the track Without You, which is a modern hard rock version of the Air Supply ballad. Not for all ears, but something which highlights Gary's unique take on the world and his ability to deliver something original.
from: MelodicRock.com - Andrew McNeice
The talented Gary Schutt is back with his new project - essentially all Gary anyway, but what the heck!
Style wise Gary has modernized a touch, with a heavier and darker guitar tone employed. But generally, his vocals and the song style is all melodic. Fans of his previous work will identify with this and should - like me - rate it as his best release to date. Strong songs and good chorus hooks - and of course, it rocks! Gotta love the track Psycho Bitch!
www.yougotgroove.com - GROOVE Magazine - Christina Nostro
I related with their sound a little more. Unfortunately, most of their songs are targeted towards women. Don’t get me wrong, I occasionally bash men in my column so I can respect where they are coming from. The album is written, performed, arranged and mixed by Gary Schutt. I personally enjoyed this album very much, the sound, the vibe, the meaning, everything. I actually sat back and listened to the words on some tracks like ‘Drama Queen’, ‘Crave’ and ‘I’m In Love With A Girl I Hate’. I was hysterically laughing! The vocals describe some women and stunts that they will pull perfectly. Believe me, I know, I’m guilty of it! I can’t wait for them to perform somewhere close to us. For more info, check out their Webssite: www.SHUTworld.com
from: www.RATHOLE.com - Scott Bazzett
I swear I don't know what to make of this guy. He is so talented I get a headache just thinking about it. He's got a fantastic voice. Great power, range and clarity and he does some great stuff with it too. Good harmonies and vocal melodies… His guitar playing is amazing. No matter what style he is playing, he just nails it, like that's what he was born to play. The drum lines are interesting and well thought out, and oddly enough he is most famous as a bass player. Go figure…
He also wrote and produced everything. I honestly think he might be schizophrenic. The absolute abandon he displays while churning through genre and style… boundaries be damned! I mean after years of playing covers and backing up other people I believe he has developed a real appreciation for all different types of rock and he just doesn't differentiate between them. It's just all stuff he likes. Coincidentally, when he does it, it's all stuff I like too. His voice and guitar tone stay consistent throughout the cd as a constant, but the style changes quite a bit. The first couple songs have sort of a modern fun feel, while the third one sounds just like old Firehouse. The sixth one jumps forward into a very Fates Warning like song, the seventh has a big funky bass like the Suicidal Tendencies and the eighth one skips around between like Winger, Blue Murder and Queensryche. The tenth one reminds me a little bit of Saigon Kick and the last one shows touches of Queen and Dream Theater… The guy is amazingly versatile and sounds comfortable doing all of it. I feel confident that with the variety of styles on this album, there might truly be, something for everyone.
Gary has gone the independent route with this cd, which means if you buy it, you will be getting a cdr, but it's very well done and since he saved money making them, you save money buying them. Direct from Schutt, it's only $13 for 12 songs and that includes shipping. I recommend you buy it. It's a good price and a good disc and this is the kind of artist we should be supporting. On a scale of 1 to 10 I give Excruciating Pleasures an 8.
STRUTTER'ZINE - Gabor Kleinbloesem
Multi-instrumentalist GARY SCHUTT has a new CD, now as SHUT, and the CD he released is titled ‘Excruciating pleasures’. He did everything on his own, and did a pretty good job, although I have to say that earlier releases of Gary were better, because they had more to offer for the melodic rockfan. This new album has modern influences on a lot of songs, such as the groovy Hardrocksongs “Drama queen”, “Psycho bitch” and “Someone new”. These are definitely not bad songs, but I also can’t call them really sensational, but with the good vocals of Gary and his instrumental passages nothing’s wrong. The best song by far has got to be the lovely semi melodic rockballad “Lost soul mate”, a la 80s DOKKEN, also with lovely melodic lead vocals. It’s a pity, Gary didn’t include more songs like this tune on the CD, because then it would have been more interesting. Nevertheless, fans of Gary and if you like your melodic hardrock to have a modern twist, then please go to: http://www.SHUTworld.com
TWO GUYS MUSIC (R.I.) - Steve Albanese
(excerpt from another e-mail)
Gary's CD is friggin' killer. I just got some and it sounds great...it's a screen printed CDR but it looks killer. This guy knows what he's doing...the production is phenomenal.
Este trabajo ha sido escrito, arreglado y mezclado por Gary Schutt. que ahora nos presenta su nuevo proyecto bajo el nombre de "Shut" un poco más heavy , pero igual de melodico como en sus anteriores trabajos . Webssite: www.SHUTworld.com
Fireworks magazine U.K - Mike Newdeck
Multi talented Gary Schutt knows a thing or two about rock music, cutting his teeth with Takara and Jeff Scott Soto as a bass player. Hiding your head under a bushel must be one of Schutt’s favourite pastimes as on this, his third solo album, he plays all instruments, sings and produces the whole affair.
Quite possibly the hardest edged project that Schutt has been involved in,‘Excruciating Pleasures’-Schutt's third solo outing- combines power and poise in equal measure with the guitar dominance being cleverly tempered by melody and other instrumental histrionics. The ‘Pull’ era Winger style of ‘Someone New’ or the heavier still ‘Night Terror’, which has echoes of Metal Church bludgeon, whilst we have to wait until the tenth track ‘I’m in Love’ for some well-earned rest bite from the ferocity.
With a touring band being put together, featuring the precocious talent of drummer Alex Papa, it appears that on the evidence of this album alone, success is just around the corner …..and that I think you’ll agree is an open and Schutt case.
THE-FUZE - Todd Seely
SHUT is the new band project built around multi-instrumentalist Gary Schutt. Gary is perhaps best known for his early work with Takara and his association with Jeff Scott Soto. In hindsight, Gary ’s strengths really seem to manifest themselves when he’s left to his own devices. The SHUT album is one of the most satisfying heavy rock albums of the past year. Gary sang, played and produced the thing. So if you don’t like something, you know who to blame. But what’s not to like? Gary ’s a creative lyricist. His lyrics can be cynical, and are often hilarious, as in the case of “Drama Queen”, “Psycho Bitch” and “I’m In Love With The Girl That I Hate”. Hmm, we’re sensing a theme here. Maybe too much of a theme. In any case, the lyrics are piggy-backing on some great riffing – imagine White Zombie crossed with The Offspring and Dream Theater. Two of the most satisfying tracks are “Mental Ward” and “Therapy”, the former really showing off Gary ’s prowess on guitar and bass. The disc is available only through Gary ’s web site www.SHUTworld.com. So open your wallet, and surf on over. Then open your ears to SHUT.
Gary Schutt has been belting out classic hard rock with various Bay area bands ever since they invented the stuff. Maybe longer. Seems there’s been a half-a-zillion changes along the way, yet Schutt remains true to his guitar-driven, harmony-crusted hard pop sound that keeps recycling with certainty. Pleasures features a dozen more Schutt symphonettas- assertive vocals, sailing guitar work and songs pocked with heavy hooks for the AC/DC, Scorpions and Led Zep masses that refuse to die. If it ever mattered, turns out Schutt is also a skilled drummer, so this one-man band effort definitely “rawks on” with its bad self. Trends: the girls probably won’t find much empathy with done-wrong dude songs like “Drama Queen”, “Psycho Bitch” or “Wish You Dead” (yeah, what’s with the fatalist attitude, Gary?). But we think there’s some kinda 12-step program going on with tunes like “Self Destruction”, “Mental Ward (Checkin’ In)" and “Therapy.” (contact: www.shutworld.com)
by Arne Asbølmo
The very well known guitarplayer, bassist, vocalist, Gary Schutt, has started his own band, Shut, and some weeks ago the result of that landed in my mailbox. Excruciating Pleasures is the name of the album. Gary Schutt`s musical career started in high school were he played drums in some projects at school. He later on started on Berklee College Of Music to develop his guitar talents. He has since then played with Jeff Scott Soto, Takara and released two solo albums, Sentimental in 1994 and Playthings, 1999. Gary is also a member of the popular Tampa Bay show band, Disco Inferno. Gary has put together a great band with bassist Chaz Dykes(Safka, Jewel, Sly Dog Bone), guitarist Tom Mcdyne (who has his debut as guitarist with Shut), on drums we find Alex Papa ( Jeff Scott Soto, Quiet Riot, Society`s Scream). I think Gary is a very talented musician, he has written all the songs by himself, arranged and mixed and of course performed on all songs. The music is melodic hardrock with a modern touch and can be related to bands like Winger, Dokken and Slaughter. The album opens with the powerful song Drama Queen, with nice guitar riffs and great refrain. Psycho Bitch is a much more standard melodic hard rock song, but it really rocks. The album consists of twelve high quality songs and I have personally heard this album at least ten times now and it`s getting better and better everytime. The songs has fine variety and shows us the talents of great musicians. There is no doubt that Gary is a great vocalist, guitarist and bassplayer, just listen to songs like Someone New, Lost Soul mate and the funky song Mental Ward, the rock ballad I`m In Love With the Girl I Hate and you will not be disappointed. There are no week points on this album, it will entertain you and give you many hours of good listening.
The man who started as bass player for In The Pink (does anyone remember them?) is back with his third solo outing, albeit under the monicker of Shut. All songs were written, performed, produced, arranged, engineered and mixed by Gary Schutt last year and to come straight to the point, the new material is more modern (contemporary?), darker and heavier than his previous work ("Sentimetal" and "Playthings"). Just have a look at the album title and/or song titles: I'm sure they speak for themselves. What Gary presents here, is not really my cup of tea (I'm more into his 80's stuff), but if you're into modern, slightly alternative rock, this independent released album could be something for you. If you can't find it in the shops (which is very likely), then contact Shut Up Productions at email@example.com or visit Gary's website.
rating : 8.5/10
(translated from French)
Gary Schutt is currently more known for it's part of bass player in the JSS Band than for his solo albums. Perhaps the things will evolve with Excruciating Pleasures, 3rd album from Gary, registered under the name of Shut Band. This CD is the most complex, the most mature, a bit crazy as well of the guitarist/bassist/singer/composer/producer and…yes, he does everything with a mastery (a control) that forces the respect. This guy is incredible. He sings 12 amazing pieces. Some of them can remind us of Freak Kitchen for the crazy guitar parts, the way Gary sings (not especially serious !), the breaks (bridges ?) and other small things. Regarding this subject, I will mention "Mental Ward", "Wish You Dead", "Someone New" where the rage we feel in the vocals, the guitar/bass parts, the solos, are astounding, (incredible) but also "Drama Queen" and "Psycho Bitch" in a more melodic register. "Therapy" is cut out in different themes, in the kind of Dream Theater, starting with a ballad atmosphere (piano) that leads to a more metal rhythm (guitar/keyboards) and so on. This song is brilliant ! "I'm In Love" is based on acoustic guitar, "Crave", with its tortured singing and its dark atmosphere make us feel unconfortable. Also, we notice that the lyrics have nothing favorable for women ! Each song have its particularity, various guitar sounds, some vocal effects here and there, a touch of aggressiveness and a funny side that is quite pleasant. On all levels, the progression is significant and more particularly regarding the way the songs are built and the guitar playing which are rather impressive. Gary Schutt goes this time much further than its Playthings (1999) which was already pretty interesting musically and he's doing here a completely successful and unexpected musical change (turn). Excruciating Pleasures is an inspired, original, powerful and very well produced album. Really too good ! To get this wonder : www. SHUTworld.com Go ahead, it's not expensive and it's really worthwhile.
Antithetik - http://antithetik.free.fr/album.php
By Denis Perrot
(translated from French)
After 2 solo albums, "Sentimetal" (1994) and "Playthings" (1999), Gary Schutt is back with a new project called Shut ! We mainly know the musician for his part of bass player with Jeff Scott Soto but not so much the multi-instrumentist able to do and assume the full responsability of an album, as a musician and producer. That's what he did with his 2 first releases. With Shut, he's doing it again ! Because behind appearances of a band, with Chaz Dykes on bass, Tom McDyne on guitar et Alex Papa on drums (he's left the project since), it's Gary Schutt, in fact, who has taken in charge the full instrumentation of the album. Either as guitarist, bassist or drummer, Gary is absolutely perfect. He makes a true demonstration of his talent. As a composer first. The songs move away from melodic hard rock to the profit of a very good heavy rock with muscle, the whole with a good amount of fun. As a musician then. Gary's powerful guitar playing is impressive, his guitar riffs kill as well as his technical bass playing ("Mental Ward"). And last but not least, as a singer. Gary sings with an incredible ease, even if it's not what we can call a "big" voice. This man is a complete musician. Regarding lyrics, he does not make in delicacy ! A right kick in women's face ! Anyway, music is the most important ! On the 12 tracks of "Excruciating Pleasures", only "Crave" sounds different with its industrial rock touches (kind of Nine Inch Nails). The other tracks are simply huge. We even reach the red zone with songs like "Drama queen", "Night Terror" "Wish you dead" and "Self destruction" ! "Psycho bitch" is a real powerful hit single ! Acoustic sonorities rule on "I'm in love with the girl that I hate". Another big surprise is "Therapy" which alternates piano and heavy sequences, in a register close to prog metal. One thing for sure, there's a real big effort done with the songwriting. Bridges, various rhythms, the way things are put together ("Someone New", "Mental Ward" and its slapping bass parts, one of the highlights of the album !), a fresh production, it grooves and we never feel bored. The album is melodic, catchy and the production is excellent. The cd is available on the Shut website only : www.shutworld.com Don't ask questions, just buy it 'cause Shut is a real bomb !!!
Flam Rock Metal Zine
By Franck Renard
Singing : 9 out of 10
Music : 9 out 10
Artwork : 7 out of 10
(translated from French)
Son of musician, Gary Schutt is more or less the american version of Angus Young. His particularity is that he's a multi-instrumentist. From guitar to bass and drums, Gary is also a gifted songwriter and singer and shows his ingeniosity as a producer. He's perfect. During his career, Gary played with Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Joe Travers (Duran Duran, Dweezil Zappa), Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne), Dorian Heartsong (Powerman 5000), Julie Greaux (Billy Idol), Bryan Beller (Dweezil Zappa, Mullmuzzler), Mike Luciano (Trixter), Mars Cowling (Pat Travers), Chris Wormer (Charlie Daniels), Paul Huesman (Michael Sweet). Gary is currently with the JSS Band and has released his 3rd solo album "Excruciating Pleasures". 12 songs built in rock that will astonish you. The 1st track : "Drama Queen", is a perfect opening to take us away in a journey that remind Freak Kitchen and Pride or the last Paradise Lost with "Someone new", "Mental ward" or "Therapy" and its score à la Dream Theater. But Gary will amaze you too with "I'm in love with the girl I hate", a wonderful metallic ballad with a very good and clear singing. The album is a pure masterpiece.
SOUND BARRIER MAGAZINE & METAL AREA WEBZINE (excerpt)
Rating: 10/10 by Nicky Baldrian
WOW, some people are full of surprises! This is shit-hot. "Playhings" is the brand new opus from guitar player Gary SChutt whom you may recall played on the first Takara album.
Vocally Gary sounds a cross between Fastway, Jeff Scott Soto, Tommy Heart, Stryper and the lead singer dude from XYZ. "In The Middle" is just superb and features a really great bass solo a'la Billy Sheehan, actually thinking of it, this song is Talas and David Lee Roth's "Eat 'em And Smile" played by one guy!!! Phew!! It's only 2 tracks in and I am having so much FUN with this album.
"Enemy Lines" see Gary playing backed up by good drum effects, here he sounds like Micheal Sweet from Stryper and the song is very catchy with a brilliant chorus. A HIT!!! Brilliant melodies and foot tapping arrangements. "Sometimes In A Dream" is a gorgeous ballad.
"This Might Be The Last Time" is a jaw dropping piano led ballad with big hollow vocals, this is beautiful and will rip you apart! "Animal Man" get things on the heavy side and features some amazing singing and brilliant drumming.
Gary Schutt has released to most incredible album of 1999. Everything you hear is bombastic classic eighties hard rock with not a single filler in sight. This is a dangerous album that gets my vote for top album of the year, yup. It's that good!!!!
RATHOLE.COM review by Scott Bazzett (excerpt)
You don't know him yet, but you should. Gary Schutt is a one-man band. Writing, recording and producing the Playthings himself would have been impressive with just a marginal talent in each area, but he's a great rhythm section and an outstanding lead. Creative drum lines and impressive bass licks back up blistering solos and piercing vocals.
His only major credit was as the bassist on the first Takara (Jeff Scott Soto) album, but that was clearly a waste of his talents. Gary is an accomplished songwriter, coming up with unique riffs and melodies filled with emotion and energy.
As it turns out, he's a pretty great singer though. His voice is perfect for these songs. There was no reason to get anybody else. All the range and power to pull it off.
With nothing to loose and nothing to prove, he comes across more sincere than anyone I've heard in a long time.
HardRoxx.com by Dave Cockett (ecerpt)
"Playthings" is the second solo offering from one time Takara bassist Gary Schutt. Whereas Jeff Scott Soto handled the vocals on "Sentimetal", this time ol' Gary boy does that too - personally, I can't decide whether he wants a Grammy or a slap really!
Although the Takara debut was a fine slice of melodic rock, their subsequent efforts (neither of which feature Mr. Schutt) were only cheap imitations. However, with "Sentimetal" and now "Platythings", their erstwhile bass player seems to be going from streng to strength.
SPINME.COM pick of the day (excerpt)
"Playthings" is a true solo project: Gary Schutt wrote and performed all of it himself, which just shows what a fine singer, very strong songwriter, and truly tremendous musician he is. Schutt's instrumental prowess is sometimes absolutly jaw-dropping, but the album's diverse excellence is even more impressive.
Without question, "Playthings" is an outstanding melodic hard rock album. It's a snarling, powerful hour of heavy rock, period, and metal fans from all over the map will find something on "Playthings" worth hearing.
from www.the-fuze.com by Todd Seely
Gary Schutt – Sentimetal (2005)
Gary Schutt’s solo debut has been remastered to good effect. Some ten years after its original release, ‘Sentimetal’ still sounds edgy and crisp, now only edgier and crisper. To Gary’s credit, this album came out during the mid-90’s, when grunge had a death grip on the music industry. And yet, as melodic as it is, it doesn’t sound particularly dated. Maybe that’s because Gary doesn’t do things in quite the same way as other artists. For example, how many hard rock artists can you think of that have recorded rock versions of famous movie themes? In this case Schutt, an ardent Star Wars fan, has arranged “The Imperial March” into an orchestrated guitar showcase. Then there’s “I Guess I’m Still in Love”, which could have been sung by Barry Manilow – which is to take absolutely nothing away from the song, because it’s a wonderful cabaret ballad in rock leathers. At this early point in his career, he wasn’t as jaded as later material would imply. Although, as bonus demo tracks like “Mental Ward” show, Gary’s personal relationships would be adding fuel to the fire on later releases. Lending his clout to this album is vocalist/producer Jeff Scott Soto, whose pedigree is golden among rock aficionados. ‘Sentimetal’was an aptly-titled labor of love for Gary, who remains sadly underrated as a songwriter and instrumentalist. For music and info, visit www.garyschutt.com.
from http://www.strutter.8m.com/ august 2005
GARY SCHUTT ‘SENTIMETAL REMASTERED’ (SHUT UP PRODUCTIONS)
(Points: 8.8 out of 10)
I have reviewed this CD a couple times before. It was originally released 11 years ago by the now defunct German Melodic Rocklabel LONG ISLAND RECORDS. I reviewed it back then in one of our first issues of the printed magazines, in a time when Melodic Rock was completely dead and we were probably the only melodic rock magazine around! Many years later I reviewed a copy of the CD when it was re-released by Gary himself on his SHUT UP PRODUCTIONS label. Now we are in the year 2005 and GARY SCHUTT decided to give his best record from 1994 another re-issue in the shape of this release, which now features an additional 3 unreleased bonus demo tracks. To me it is all a nostalgic trip, but for other people maybe an undiscovered gem. Despite the fact that this is a GARY SCHUTT release, a very talented musician who proves to be able to play all the instruments very well, this particular CD of him is his finest release due to the fact none-other than JEFF SCOTT SOTO sang the lead vocals. 11 years after it’s first release it still is a fantastic release, but also a very diverse release, because no other recording of JSS features pure Progressive Rocksongs (a la RUSH). I am talking about the wonderful 8-11 minutes counting epic melodic progressive rockers “In some other lifetime” and “Fault line”, both very impressive songs. Actually the whole CD is great, mixing classic hardrock, aor and melodic rock, with as highlights besides the already mentioned songs, uptempo melodic rockers “Stranded” and “She’s letting go”, but the absolute moment supreme here is the amazing AOR ballad “I guess I’m still in love”. This JOURNEY type of ballad is an absolute classic which sadlyis underrated, because I never see anybody mentioning it. This song alone makes the purchase of this CD worthy. JSS fans who miss this release better get it now, because the new version contains 3 unreleased songs (“Highway to nowhere”, “Mental ward” and “Act of sympathy”). More info at: http://www.GarySchutt.com
H R H - R E V I E W S
by John Kindred
HRH Rating: 7.5/10
Comments: Gary Schutt is widely associated these days with his long time friend and musical companion, Jeff Scott Soto. Schutt’s looks capture the “third times a charm” feeling with his rerelease of his remastered solo CD from 1994, Sentimetal. 2005’s CD package includes bonus track demos and it should come as no surprise that the aforementioned Soto handles the vocal duties as Schutt provides all the instrumentation on Sentimetal.
Three releases you say; isn’t two enough? Maybe for fans who have been treated to Schutt’s superior work in the past, but for the rest of us who may have missed out, the answer is “no.” Besides, you get the additional bonus tracks on top of the original 11 songs. And again, the CD has been remastered for your listening pleasure. OK, enough of the sales pitch … let’s move on.
Schutt is Vai-kind-of-guitarist, who demonstrates his virtuosity and keen playing ability throughout Sentimetal. Who would have thought? Only knowing the bass playing side of Schutt, your ears will be amazed by the complete musician.
Being a fan of Soto, who is probably one of rock’s most versatile vocalists and one of the genre’s best, Schutt is instantly on solid ground with most rock fans. Does the music match the voice? It does. The music is a heavy dose of melodic rock, featuring catchy hooks, brilliant solos with solid drumming and bass playing holding the songs together.
Listeners will be treated to over 78 minutes of music — by far greater than what today’s metal heads are releasing to the public. Be prepared for the vocal majesty of Soto and the musical inspirations of Schutt to draw into their well orchestrated musical world. Schutt demonstrates his musical genius or flat out wackiness by recreating John Williams, “The Imperial March,” from the Star Wars films. And you know what; it works well in the guitar-drums-bass setting.
The bonus tracks include songs "Highway" and "Sympathy," which were originally demoed for Schutt’s Playthings CD release, while "Mental Ward" was a demo for the CD Slam.
Sentimetal was originally released on Zero Corp. (Japan 1994) and Long Island Records (Europe 1995).