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The best kept secret in music


"Randy McStine-"Guitarizm" CD Review 1"

"I am addicted to the internet as it is a wonderful way for me to seek out new artists for my music listening addiction. It is just amazing how much guitar-oriented rock music is out there these days. Often, my net searches are futile, leading me to either crappy music or playing.. you know the stuff that actually makes you excited to recycle used plastic!
Recently, I was lucky enough to come across the phenomenal Randy McStine in one of these searches and my ears will never be the same. Rest assured folks, despite his young age, Randy’s playing will make you rethink your definition of the word “precocious”! The proof is in the listening with Randy’s latest all-instrumental effort, Guitarizm, released by the label Grooveyard Records.
The majority of the 13-track Guitarizm offering was recorded by Randy at the tender ages of 12-14, but if I didn’t tell you that you would never know based on a listen. Guitarizm also features 3 newly recorded tracks by Randy, who recently turned 16. Ok, now that that is out of the way, let focus on the music, which is what matters most.
What you can say about this record (that is after you get your jaw off the ground) is that it is one rooted in the heavy hard rockin’ guitar style of greats such as Jeff Beck and Joe Satriani. Furthermore, Guitarizm is extremely well-crafted, melodic, and just plain good to the earhole guitar riffage. Older tracks such as “Sonic Boom” have an irresistible melodic groove with an edgy guitar bite, while more recently recorded tracks, such as “Blister” focus on a heavier direction and advancement in Randy’s playing style, while keeping true to the strong songwriting that is found on the earlier material. Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention that Randy writes or co-writes all of his material!
Overall, I can honestly say that Guitarizm is one of the strongest instrumental guitar records to come out this year by anyone (of any age –ha!). Tracks like the aggressive jam, “Shredding Skin,” the vibrantly melodic, “Cries Of War,” the rip-roarin’ Beck-tribute, “Wired Boots, ” and the earpleasing-bombacity of “Moodswings” are only a few of the gems on here. It is amazing that Randy can play like he does at such a young age, but again what is even more important is that he is putting out quality material full of feeling and appeal, regardless of his age. The music is what matters the most and when it comes down to it, Guitarizm delivers the strong, hook-laden riffs, the wicked face-melting fretwork and stellar production. That is the reason to pick this one up, nothing more and nothing less. Finally, I think props also need to be given to the rhythm section of Randy’s trio, bassist Mike Cook and drummer Nate Horton, who lay down a rock solid groove for Randy to dig his precocious chops into. They do a stellar job of holding it all together with the tightness a power trio should have.
I recently had the opportunity to witness most of the Guitarizm songs performed live by now 16 year old Randy and I must say it was one of the cleanest and mesmerizing performances I have ever seen. The future of guitar is in good hands with Randy McStine and I look forward to the next platter of “guitarizms” he releases. I am very confident it won’t make me have the urge to recycle any plastic!"

- Steve Bauer @ The Academy Of Shred (2.05)

"Randy McStine-"Guitarizm" CD Review 2"

"Of all the great instrumental guitar releases over the last few decades or so, "Guitarizm" by one Randy McStine must be put in a class all by itself. Why? Sure, it's got all the requisite hyperdrive pyrotechnics, smokin' tones, killer grooves, catchy melodies and pristine production values that you'd expect from a virtuosic player of his caliber. So...what's the difference? Well...it's because he's only 16 years old! Fuckin' A! Displaying an incredibly mature harmonic intuitiveness far beyond his years - and far beyond most of his "elder statesman" contemporaries, for that matter - he segues effortlessly between soulful bluesy vamps to hard-rocking roller coaster rides to Beck-ish fusion workouts that leave your head reeling. You'll ask yourself: can he really be that young? YES, HE CAN. Is this some type of musical sleight of hand? NO WAY, MAN. It's as real as a heart attack, Jack. Randy digs deep and hits the "triple threat" guitar motherlode: (1) a blistering, "chops deluxe" high-octane delivery, (2) a sophisticated melodic sensibility and (3) memorable arrangements that are destined to become his trademark. He hits on all cylinders. The irony is that the best is yet to come from the gifted Mr. McStine - make no mistake about it, he IS destined for greatness - and now you'll be able to say "you knew him when." So get in on the ground floor - amaze your fellow fretheads and blow minds with "Guitarizm." You're in for one hell of a wild ride. Listen and you'll know the truth - there's a new kid in town...and he's comin' to getcha."

- Jimmy Ryan (TRUTH SQUAD) (2.05)

"Randy McStine-"Guitarizm" CD Review 3"

Ok, know when your parents told you to do something with your life, and you blew them off? Well, Mr. McStine evidently did not. In fact, he's done more in his short life than many of us can hope to accomplish before we get our dentures. Randy McStine (named for Randy Rhodes) started playing guitar at the ripe old age of 5, and hasn’t looked back since. Releasing his first record at 12 (and writing 6 of the 9 songs himself) gave him a unique hold on the musical world. Some would call him ‘prodigy’, some would call him just plain awesome. This release is not just another ‘shredder’ having his way with six strings; it is a fine example of what instrumental guitar music should sound like.

“Guitarizm” is a very unique record for the genre. Randy doesn’t overplay on any of it. There are plenty of groove-oriented riffs and changes to go along with his scorching leads so as not to lose the listener in a sea of guitar blizzardry. He doesn’t play all the instruments and he doesn’t program any drums. He simply concentrates on his songwriting and guitar work. Yes, there are nods to SATRIANI, and VAI, but also moments recalling PLANKTON and LOCOMOTIVE BREATH as well. The structures and fullness will suck you right into the tunes. “Zarcon” and “Sonic Boom” are fine examples of the tasteful, well-written, guitar rock that abounds here. I guess it must be something about how young he is that makes the overall sound so pure and real.

Randy has surrounded himself with a great bass player and a superior drummer so the music doesn’t sound manufactured and stale. Every song sounds full and robust, and the production is top-notch. Effects like the piano and church bells in “Vibrant Lights” come in loud and clear (so clear in fact that Randy’s guitar seems to take a back seat). Ironically, many older musicians lack the reserve and poise that McStine already possesses.

So now he’s 17. Shit, what have I been doing with my life? if there is one more instrumental guitar record you buy, make it this one, it’s worth it. Hell, the kid’s gotta go to college. Maybe we can write the price of the disc off as a charitable donation or something.

- The Manic Mechanic


RMB-Winter 2006 Demo (3 songs)
RMB-Fall 2005 Demo (4 songs)
RMB-Summer 2005 Demo (3 songs)
RMB-Summer 2004 Demo (4 songs)
Randy McStine-Guitarizm (2005, instrumental,
Grooveyard Records)
Randy McStine-Second Shot (2003, instrumental)
Randy McStine-Shredding Skin (2001, instrumental)
Giant Steps-2000 Demo
(3 songs, feat.Randy McStine)
Feinstein-Third Wish (feat.Nate Horton, 2004,
SPV/Magic Circle Records)
David "Rock" Feinstein-One Night in the Jungle
(feat.Nate Horton, 2000)
Pull-Ahead (feat.Nate Horton, 2000)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Officially formed in 2002, RMB may be young in existence, but years of experience and skill between its members constantly drive the band to new heights. Originally conceived as a solo outlet for guitarist Randy McStine back in 2000 (12 years-old at the time), it was simply a side project while he was playing in a classic rock cover band. Writing instrumental music in the vein of guitar gods like Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck, a stellar rhythm section was needed to bring the project to life and into the studio. Through playing in the Central New York club circuit, Randy met drummer and future band mate, Nate Horton while sharing a bill between both of their bands. With Nate’s powerful and advanced style, it was evident they both complimented each other as musicians and personalities.
Released as Randy’s 1st solo disc, “Shredding Skin” shows off many different styles while focusing on songs along with musicianship. A year later, Randy’s second solo disc entitled “Second Shot” was released, again with Nate on drums and newcomer Mike Cook on bass. Capturing a looser and more mature performance than “Shredding Skin”, the package was now complete with Mike’s smooth, yet aggressive bass style. In the summer of 2002, Randy brought the project out live for some once a month shows at NYC’s legendary club, The Bitter End. As shows were frequently booked at the club, the band was gaining steam and McStine eventually made the decision to disband his long-running cover group. With everyone committed to play, RMB was no longer a “project” and was ready to take on its new identity.
Keeping the core of McStine, Cook, and Horton, the band had several keyboardists before the decision to be a trio was made. The next step was for Randy to start singing. Sneaking a Hendrix or Santana song in the instrumental set started building confidence and strength in his voice, and the focus was shifted on writing originals with vocals, a first for the band, and for Randy as a songwriter and lyricist. With a newfound power as a trio and now with vocals, a fresh sound had emerged.
Now at 17, McStine released a new instrumental disc entitled “Guitarizm” on Grooveyard Records (www.grooveyardrecords.com/guitarizm) at the beginning of 2005. Getting rave reviews from all around the world, “Guitarizm” gives a musical timeline of Randy’s instrumental material, as most of the disc is compiled of tracks from his two previously mentioned releases. Closing the door on writing instrumentals and a chapter in the band’s evolution, writing vocal material is the focal point. The music contains a fresh mix of melody, heaviness, dynamics, and occasional complexity that has been absent in the popular rock scene. The band is constantly writing and recording new material, and it is unknown where things can turn next…