Alec Berlin has spent years honing his craft as one of the most formidable guitar-slingers to emerge from the cosmic rock underground. His scorched-earth solos and anti-gravity riffs have leveled countless stages and ignited countless distorted effervescences. But with "Space Punk and Other Junk," his most ambitious and all-encompassing work to date, Berlin achieves lift-off.
This album is an instrumental masterpiece that crackles with possibility on every track. Opener "Space Punk" lives up to its name with a high-energy stomp that grabs you from the first downstroke. "Man's Best Friend" brings a sense of greatness, with a descending, deathly metal-infused riff. But even here Berlin finds pockets of hope, with bursts of rainbow-hued arpeggios piercing through. The powerful "Beat Confabulator (All Night on the Floor)" yields to a glittering, star-spangled solo that sounds plucked straight out of a space battle, lightsabers clashing.
Crisp and ferocious, "LaNoise" sets the tone immediately with a fantastic, guitar line that somehow sounds vintage and has a bit of country all at once. Berlin builds the entire song around that luminous riff, layering it with echo upon echo until it feels like it's pulling you into the stratosphere. "Minir Maad" smoothly blends spaced-out keys with riffs that are hard to resist.
"Patchen Avenue" is a gorgeous, beautiful odyssey, with captivating strings. "Life in the Bog" captures the feeling of transmission from beyond, with grinding riffs and a haunting melody that seems to emanate from deep space. "What I Wish I Had Said" is a lesson in how to build unstoppable momentum, its riffs evolving from basic power chords into an incredible feedback-fueled cascade. By the time the funky solos begin tearing at the song’s walls, you feel the entropy with every fiber of your being.
"Iota (not One)", "President's Day" and "Flatbush Jaywalk" bring Berlin’s vision to dazzling new heights, with riffs that evoke solar flares and massive explosions, solos that could shred worlds apart. The album’s closing track "ROYGBIV" suggests rebirth , its melody awakening you from the static with hope for whatever unknown future awaits.
Like all of Berlin’s work, "Space Punk and Other Junk" feels engineered to provoke a visceral, physiological response. But whereas his previous albums conjured adrenaline spikes and full-body tremors, this one elicits something bigger: a supernova of sound and vision that could lift you right out of your seat and launch you light years ahead. "Space Punk and Other Junk" is epic rock and roll futurism at its most exhilarating and paradigm-shifting moments.
This album demands to be experienced at maximum volume, its every chosen note and searing solo sculpted to induce a transcendental rush. If you seek to blast off to new creative heights, if you hunger for something encompassing yet meticulously crafted, then drop everything and plunge into Alec Berlin’s "Space Punk and Other Junk." Listen as his vision vaporizes the constraints of genre, as he forges new pathways into uncharted sonic territory. Follow Alec Berlin on his socials to continue the journey.