What better time to celebrate the genius that is genial Joe ‘Satch’ Satriani than when the world’s greatest guitarist is at the centre of a super colossal lawsuit with mega-selling Coldplay? Here we avoid any litigation by looking at 2008’s triumphant Professor Satchafunkilus… and the classic Surfing With The Alien

Now 2008: Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion Of Rock (Epic) is Joe Satriani’s outstanding contribution to a classic year for the music we at rushonrock revere. It’s modern day metal-funk which stays true to the trademark Satch style and proves one of the most prolific songwrirters around rarely allows quantity to diminish his quality.

Title track Musterion sets the fret-dancing tone and this is every instrumentalist’s dream. Don’t be alarmed by the brief vocal burst on I Just Wanna Rock – there’s no toe-curling return to the post-Surfing… singing experiment and the lyrical chorus actually enhances a catchy little tune.

But there’s nothing little or particularly catchy about the two epic tracks which close Satriani’s best album in 20 years. Asik Vaysel and Andalusia are ambitious and ambiguous in equal measure but they might just be the best songs this multi-talented muso’s muso has ever written.

If you missed out earlier this year then it’s not too late to tuck this into your nearest and dearest’s stocking. It’s better than a satsuma and is worth more than a bag of chocolate coins. In fact it’s much, much better.

rushonrock rated: 8/10 Profetic

…And Then 1987: Surfing With The Alien (Epic) is the only instrumental rock album you really need to own. Packing in so many styles it could give Toni & Guy a run for their money and offering up more variety than a bag of Woolies pic ‘n’ mix this is one of rushonrock‘s all-time favourite records.

The fact that it just happens to originate from the year that reinvented rock only serves to enhance the reputation of an album rich in fret-fuelled fantasy. Set it down alongside 1987 standards from GNR, Leppard, Whitesnake and the rest and it more than holds its own. This is magic from the spellbinding digits of Sir Satch.

Highlights? There are 10 – from the opening song and title track to the haunting Always With Me, Always With You. Ice 9 is super cool, Midnight is the perfect soundtrack to quiet darkness and Circles has more edge than, well, The Edge.

Reissued last year to celebrate the record’s 20th anniversary this is the place to start for any Satch virgin. If you’re not kooed within 10 minutes you might as well invest in that digital hearing aid here and now. There are some records which are impossible to fault. This is one.

rushonrock rated: 10/10 Surfing Makes Waves