Press reviews for Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum: 
(updated 15 February 2008) 

Reviews for "reverb rehab"

  • 8th February 2008, Nova Magazine (Australia)
  • 3rd February 2008, The Sunday Age (Australia)

    January 2008: Robert Silverstein, editor of 20th Century Guitar & (New York)

  • Aussie guitarist Ben Rogers graduated from the sound of his Instrumental Asylum and in 2007 he hit the street with Reverb Rehab. The results are pretty much the same: expertly crafted and rocking guitar instrumentals highlighted by Ben’s vast knowledge of guitarists and guitar arrangements. How many instrumental artists can combine tracks as diverse as “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “All The Things You Are” and Bert Weedon’s “Ginchy” all on the same album? Decked out with guitaristic cover art—with the back cover listing all the instruments used here—Reverb Rehab features Rogers on a wide range of electric guitars backed up by Nicki Scarlett (bass) and Denis Close (drums). The overall one-two punch of dazzling instrumentals played by expert hands makes Reverb Rehab one of the most favorable guitar instrumental CDs of the millennium. Added assets include detailed track by track notes on these classic covers and originals.
  • December 2007, Big Beat of the 50s (Australia)
  • 4th December 2007, Pipeline Magazine (UK)
  • 27th November 2007, 2Good4Words (Australia)
  • 8th November 2007, New Gandy Dancer (UK)
  • 11th November 2007, JB Mag (Australia)
  • 14th November 2007, dB Magazine (Adelaide, Australia)
  • 18th November 2007, Reverb Central (Santa Cruz, USA)

  • Press for live performances

    Matthew Frederick of EG (The Age - Melbourne)

    Daniel Gregson of EG (The Age - Melbourne) caught the band at a recent performance at the Clifton Hill "Acoustic Sessions":  "Gig Guide caught Instrumental Asylum (as opposed to being admitted) on Wednesday June 14 at the Clifton, and if you dig rockin' surf guitar a la Dick Dale and via Melbourne, you'll dig this outfit fronted by Ben Rogers.  Featuring the ever reliable Denis Close in the engine room, the trio tore up the stage calling into question the "acoustic" focus of the night, but damn, the feet were stomping."

    Reviews for "Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum"

    Phil Dirt, Reverb Central (Santa Cruz, USA):

  • This is a pretty interesting record. The sound is big guitar loud trio. There's more variety than the structure would suggest, and some very strong moments.  5 stars.

    "KangaRoux" is a loud and catchy riff rocker that's commanding and cool. Great drums and a very big sound.

    This version of "House Of The Rising Sun" is based on the Animals' cover, but it has completely different sound and fury. Huge guitar, intense energy, and very emotional. Very bluesy and intense.

    "Surfing The Synchrotron" is a large sounding number with a great bridge, big whammy chords, and a bluesy edge. Its power is unmistakable.

    "Sandy Feet" is a blues rockin' romp with intense sound. 

    Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" is done in huge electric blues fashion. Intense edge and sustain, along with string bending gives it a sort of spy feeling.

    "Stomping At Steves" is a thoroughly delightful cowboy number with a great beat and infectious cowboy rhythm, plus surf glissandos and a decidedly happy face. ... This is a great track!

    "Loved Another Woman": This is a lush slow blues from Peter Green. It's quite liquid sounding, with a sinewy guitar and gentle primal drums and bass.

    This is a very loud version of Santo and Johnny's "Sleep Walk." Not at all sinewy and romantic, but certainly late night. Think of it as having a slightly dangerous aura, being a bit atmospheric, but not being gentle.

  • Robert Silverstein, editor of 20th Century Guitar & (New York):

    BLAZZ - Any guitarist that cites Django, Hank and Peter Green as big influences gets my ear. On the 18 track, 2006 CD from the Australia-based Ben Rogers’ Instrumental Asylum jettisons the gypsy jazz intrigue of Django Reinhardt in favor of the excitement of trendy beat group sounds of the Shadows and Sandals, Duane Eddy. Ben’s nimble fretboard work on “Medina Wedding Blues” would put a smile on Peter Green’s face! With his group’s new CD, Welcome To Instrumental Asylum, guitar ace Ben Rogers brings the rock instrumental sound solidly into the now. Guitar instrumental music is and always was huge in Australia—Hank Marvin lives there today—and interestingly over the past decade original Aussie instro rockers The Atlantics, Kim Humphreys and other up and coming bands are out there keeping the R.I. sound alive downunder. Welcome To Instrumental Asylum is a real treat for ‘60s guitar freaks.

    Peter Thomas, Big Beat of the 50s, Australia wrote:

    Instrumental dynamite…the 18 tracks are equally divided between instrumental classics and some truly exciting and original compositions…pay homage to their inspirations but they add their own distinctive tough edge…rockin’ originals such as Stomping at Steve’s make this a must-have CD for fans of guitar instrumentals.

    Phil Drew, The Record, Albany, New York wrote:

    Alongside faithful recreations of classics such as "Pipeline" and "Apache" and his own originals ("Surfing the Synchrotron", the title a nod to Scarlett's day job as a scientist) that echo them, the Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum CD hints at Rogers' broader influences.  There is a bluesy rethink of "St James Infirmary"; a "House of the Rising Sun" that might have been played by Carlos Santana; a Rogers original, "KangaRoux" that seems to channel Jeff Beck; a cover of Django Reinhardt's "Nuages" that dusts off the swing jazz classic with serious rock attitude.

    Greg Haymes, Times Union, Troy, New York wrote the following:

    Down Under guitarslinger

    Hailing from Australia, guitar player Ben Rogers comes roaring into the Capital Region during the next couple of weeks. In addition to catching up with his old pal and fellow Aussie Al Kash, Rogers will be plugging in and cranking out some good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll while he's in town.

    "Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum" is Rogers' latest album with his band, the Instrumental Asylum, and it rocks from start to finish. Along with a healthy handful of cracklin' original tunes, Rogers' power trio blasts through surf tunes (Dick Dale's "Shake 'n Stomp," the Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run"), traditional blues ("House of the Rising Sun," "Saint James Infirmary Blues") and early Fleetwood Mac gems ("I Loved Another Woman," "Fleetwood Mac") with a muscular, lovingly distorted guitar sound that would surely bring a smile to the lips of the late great Link Wray. Rogers even reinvents Django Reinhardt's classic "Nuages."

    New Gandy Dancer, the world's longest running rock instrumental magazine (30 years) features a review of "Welcome to the Instrumental Asylum" in its latest issue:  "Looking at the track listing, it would be easy to see a Ventures inspired cover band only, but Ben Rogers and his band are a fresh, innovative, instrumental guitar group.  A trio, they kick off with a big, Link Wray style opener in "Kanga Roux" (one of seven great originals) before a dark, grungy "Apache".  "House of the Rising Sun" gets a unique take with a thoroughly new slant but it's still good guitars all the way.  Nikki Scarlett on bass and Denis Close on drums drive the whole set along solidly and, for example, the Ventures favourites "Ninth Wave" and "Walk Don't Run" both get useful workouts.  The Shadows' "Geronimo" is another example of a new eye (and ear) coming up with a revitalised favourite.  more please!"

    2Good4Words Australian Instrumental Newsletter: "The CD opens with a cracker - the rocking 'Kanga Roux'...another seven originals, all of which are very good examples of RI (rock instrumentals).  Ranging from heavy surf to deep twang, lots of reverb and echo, the cover versions display a fresh outlook and are very enjoyable."

    Ken Williams writes in The Age (Melbourne) and The Sydney Morning Herald, "(Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum) paints from a varied and witty palette: a House of the Rising Sun that bypasses Hilton Valentine's signature arpeggios, a Nuages that transports Django's reverie beyond the clouds" and "Nods to past masters...sit happily with driving "guitar noir" originals".

    Alan Taylor writes in Pipeline (UK), "Against the hard-driving rhythm section of Nikki Scarlett on bass and Denis Close on drums, Ben fires salvo after salvo of tastily aggressive licks which enliven even such well-worn numbers as Apache and Walk Don't Run" and "Kangaroux is a mighty meaty, catchy pounder which thoroughly deserves its slot as opener".

    Dan Forte writes in Vintage Guitar (USA), "A majestic reading of the Shadows' Geronimo" and "glimpses (and sometimes songs) of Django Reinhardt, Peter Green and J.J. Cale poke through Rogers' Strat..."

    Karl Mayerhofer writes in Australian Guitar (Vol 51, March 2006): "...the bio claims that the album echoes some of the best work of The Shadows, Ventures and Surfaris, which is quite a call, but a valid one. Their cover of Dick Dale's "Shake 'n' Stomp" is feverishly hot and the opening track "Kangaroux" could run at the beginning of the next Tarantino movie." and "Be sure to listen to it with your dancing shoes on."

    Billy Pinnell writes in JB Mag that you don't need a vocalist "...when the music is driven by a guitar player as extraordinary as former Perth musician Ben Rogers" and "If you love guitar, buy this album."

    Phil Bennett writes in Nova Magazine "Sandy Feet is a delight while Medina Wedding Blues is haunting and raunchy at the same time.  The highlight is a bewildering, inspired version of Django Reinhardt's Nuages which transports the song from the sidewalks of Paris into the electric stratosphere.  Astonishing stuff."