Stus Rollins is one of those rare instrumentalists that understands how people listen to music. With a lot of instrumental rock, my impression is that guitarists like to show off their technical skill. Rollins shows his ability for writing and playing, but makes it enjoyable to hear.
His latest album Amygdala showcases songs with structure. Instead of just shredding guitar with key as the only concern, Rollins seems to build a song. Where you would normally hear singing, there is just guitar, but it makes sense. There’s a story being told that has a definite beginning, middle and end.
Of course, there’s a place for shredding guitar. There are a ton of guitar heads out there who are just interested in drinking in every bit of technique before drowning in it. However, I think Stus Rollins is where those guys and the pop structure guys meet and have coffee together every week. His music is one of those that you can sit down and listen to just for fun, or something that you can just keep on in the background to help mask the time you’ve spent doing menial chores (because those fresh out of the dryer clothes aren’t going to fold themselves).