Three years of studying at the Musicians Institute of Technology in Hollywood, CA, and rubbing elbows with Tribal Tech's co-founding guitarist Scott Henderson and bassist Gary Willis, trained John to think further outside the box. Drift, the opening track to his Aussie trio's latest CD, Mr. Twister, starts out with a thunderous guitar riff before serpentining into 7/4 half-time and 7/8 double-time meters.
The subsequent Would lightens the mood a touch through its waltzing cadence, although John's burning solos -- in both the main theme and frantic midsection -- hardly conjure up images of ballroom dancing. John, Gil and Dennert seem to try to skirt standard 4/4 time whenever possible, and make a shell game of the meter in the epic title track. With its multiple sections and array of guitar tones, the extended piece hints at Canadian rock trio Rush without bassist Geddy Lee's high-pitched vocals.