Joboj knows how to pace an album: fast. X is the latest instrumental release from everybody's favorite L.A. based Nyquil addict, Joboj. And when X kicks off, you'll know it. The first two tracks keep the tempo hot and heavy with rapid percussion, groovy rock riffs, and manic guitar leads. By the time you make it to the third track, you might be too dizzy to notice the surfin' rock guitars that Joboj sneaks into the mix.
If I sound a bit disoriented, it's because I've made the mistake of writing while listening to X. After hearing the first three songs, you'll be disoriented too. Joboj understands the key to intensity, which is slowing down once in a while. The fourth song, "Condiment Bomb", is a testament to that fact. It opens with some clean jazzy guitars and a nice melody, taking its time to build into some really frenzied lead guitars that are bewildering and impressive all at once.
I'm pacing this review the way X goes, so now that I've thrown a bunch of information at you, let's take a step back and ask a much needed question: just who is this mysterious palindrome? Unless you're a fan of instrumental guitar albums, you might think you've never heard Joboj. Amazingly enough, his music has been played on a variety of VH-1 and MTV shows. Chances are you've inadvertently heard him at one point or another. Much like the similarly wacky Bumblefoot, Joboj exists inside and outside of the mainstream in some bizarre paradox that only applies to lunatic guitarists.
Getting back to the album, the fun certainly doesn't stop at the fourth track. X also features two trip-hop/electronica tracks, "Zero" and "Tryptophen Junkie." These songs are both laid back and melodic. But when I say something like "laid back" in regards to Joboj, we're not talking about easy listening. The percussion maintains a quick beat over the relatively peaceful guitars. The effect-laden lead guitar has a sort of loose, meandering quality, but the song never loses its focus. "Blackthumb" is another calm track, this time with a classical-ish acoustic intro and an excellent chorus that mixes acoustic strumming, a powerful bass line, and a catchy melody. "Screaming Chicken" finishes things off the way they started - with a high-octane groove and manic lead guitars.
I could spend a long time discussing each track, or I could just tell you that Joboj knows how to write a good tune. He successfully blends groovy rock, surfin' sounds, electronica, crazy guitar soloing, and tranquil melodies into one of the best guitar-oriented CDs I've heard recently. If you're in need of a comparison, one might say Joboj is a more diverse and groovy Buckethead, or perhaps a heavier and more manic Bumblefoot. X is the kind of album that you can set to repeat for hours without getting bored. What else can I say? It comes highly recommended. Be sure to visit http://www.mp3.com/joboj/ to give the man a much deserved listen.