• 9/10
    MICHAEL GARRETT - Watchful Eye - 9/10


Jibberjaw Records
Release date: November 20, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Who would have guessed that Michael Garrett, born on the 4th of July in the year 1967, would turn into this 7-string virtuoso, shredder-extraordinaire, guitar wizard beyond compare, some 40 years down the road. Not only has Michael Garrett been there and done that in his own personal way and style, he has fulfilled his dreams by releasing two independent CD’s to date with no end in sight. His debut CD, Rebirth, was officially released on June 16, 2002, while his latest creation, Watchful Eye, was released at the end of 2006.

Michael was pretty active in music growing up in sunny California. At age 10, he was already playing piano, accordion, and trumpet. He played the trumpet for his Junior High School band, and after three years, left that behind to join the school’s Jazz band as a guitarist. By age 12, he knew guitar was his love. He decided to form his own band and started playing backyard parties and local clubs in no time at all. Pretty soon, that extended to clubs outside the area and even gig’s that were 18 and older (for these, Michael had to leave immediately after finishing the last set). By the late 80’s, Mike spent a good portion of his time recording, writing, and performing music at local shows. Mike finally decided to take the show on the road in the mid 90’s and started playing shows across the United States, Canada, and Mexico for the next six years. He soon discovered how much different it was playing live in front of thousands compared to the local bar and club circuit. Michael found himself venturing off around the mid to late 90’s, writing music for Television commercials, Internet Radio shows, and Professional Wrestling entrance themes. Besides doing all this, Mike enjoyed teaching bass and guitar in his spare time. He was also able to create Jibberjaw Records, which is the recording label company Mike now owns.

Watchful Eye has 9 tracks clocking in at just under a half hour, and falls under the genre of Instrumental Metal. While this may seem short for a 9-song CD, it doesn’t seem that way when listening to it, as each song is very good in its own right. The title track is very powerful coming out of the gate. The song is full of power and emotion in Michael’s guitar playing. He makes it seem as if there are other guitarists playing alongside him. There is one annoying thing to the song, however, and that is the way it suddenly ends. “Scream” sounds like there are 3 guitarists instead of the one … just an incredible sound. Relentless bass and powerful drums with nice cymbal work, combined with Mike’s guitar, makes this another good song. “False Profit” uses a very pronounced deep bass thumb-style, giving it an overall different, but heavy, side to it. “Impostor” puts visions of Peter Frampton in your head when you hear the voice box in this tune. “Book Of Life” is a mellower tune but pleasant to the ear. “Plead Of Insanity” has a fierce attack of guitar with an aggressive bass (not to mention some real good bass runs) and powerful drums, making this another killer track. “Brother Justin” reveals some give and take between the bass and guitar, bass and drums, and guitar and drums … very different and enjoyable. “One World” has strong cymbal work and intense shredding. There are some notes hit in this one that have the cats from the neighborhood lining up. “Costa Azul” really stands out, and is some sort of Spanish Sonata that takes you to a different place … nice drum and cymbal work featured here.

If there was one fault or dislike in the entire CD, it would have to be the way the eighth song, “One World,” begins and ends. It’s too boring compared to the rest of the CD. If it weren’t for the middle section that saves it, this track would have really been in trouble.


  • George Fustos

    George was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He has engineering degrees in Chemical and Electrical Engineering. He favors Metal, Rock, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Blues, and even some Jazz and Motown (depending on the tune). He used to dabble with the bass quite some time ago. His most influential bassists are Jaco, Billy Sheehan, Stu Hamm, Geddy Lee, and John Entwistle (RIP Ox). Band-wise he's really into Rush, Tool, early Metallica, Pink Floyd (including Waters and Gilmour as solo artists), The Who, Iced Earth, Iron Maiden, Halford, Joe Satriani, certain Judas Priest, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert Collins (Blues guitarist), Motörhead, and a German band called Skew Siskin that Lemmy says in an interview as being "the best band out there today."

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