I must confess that when I first saw the name I immediately thought of ‘Peanuts’, and I guess I am not the only one. However, what we have here is not a famous kid but instead a multi-instrumentalist guitarist who has certainly flown well under my radar as this is his tenth solo album in the last 20 years or so, but it is the first time I have come across him. It was also somewhat of a surprise to realise this is the work of just one person (Charles uses guitars, guitar synth and Roland TDS series drums) as I honestly thought this was a band as it is wonderfully tight and does not meander in the way many solo acts do. This is instrumental guitar-based rock with progressive tendencies with real songs, and while Charles states he is influenced by the likes of Alex Lifeson, Ritchie Blackmore, Pete Townshend, and Pat Metheny, he is more direct in his approach.

This is rock which will be appreciated by all those who enjoy guitars, with some wonderful layering and definite hints of Steve Vai in the title track, and while he can show off like the best of them, he mostly keeps that constrained and only does so when it is absolutely in keeping with the music. This means we have a tightly constructed and nicely flowing album where the ego has been kept at bay and instead the listener can revel in the harmonies and arrangements instead of just listening to shred for its own sake. He may not always be the quickest on the frets, but the sheer musicality reminds me of the genius of Eddie Ojeda versus the blast of Malmsteen on “Stars” with the former really showing how be effective. The result is a rock album which is superbly enjoyable and well worthy of discovery, which just makes me wonder what the back catalogue is like as well.

Rating: 8/10