GUITAR SHOP magazine
Wow, things are really getting weird here in the post-shred years. Take Ron Thal, for example. This guy has been kicking around the instrumental scene for a few years, but now he's finally gotten his shit together to make a cool, utterly freaked-out solo disc called The Adventures of Bumblefoot. You can hear the manic threads of Zappa and Vai in his playing, but Thal also mixes elegant melodies with speed-of-light shred licks that sound more like gigabytes of data shooting across a modem line at 28.8bps. The guy wails. Not only that, but he can also write good material and put his frizzled licks into coherent contexts; there's a wonderful synergy to his music.
Check out "Orf" for a dose of psycho-shred lead guitar or the straightforward rock intensity of "Scrapie." Metal, jazz, funk, blues-rock, pop, acoustic fingerstyle, experimental - it doesn't make any difference to Thal. He mixes styles like a master alchemist and more importantly, makes it work. If you're tired of 90's rock but don't want to go back to the dated shred-guitar thing, The Adventures of Bumblefoot will surely give your ears something new and different to sample. And F.Y.I., Thal also cut the soundtrack to the SEGA interactive adventure game Wild Woody. Kinda makes sense. (review by Max Cassileth)
Hermit CD review, by Mike
GOOD TIMES magazine
Page 22 / Good Times, April 8-April 21, 1997
What do you get when you cross the driving melodies of Queensryche, the funk of Rage Against the Machine and the fastest guitar licks this side of 5150 studios? You get Hermit, Ron Thal's second record. And in Thal we get the most exciting guitar prodigy in the rock music scene.
From the acoustic and string interlude that leads into the sledgehammer riff of the title track, Thal pulls you in with his gift for song craftsmanship and his seamless guitar work. Just because he is a great guitarist does not mean that the record is simply a forum for the Brooklyn native to display his flashy guitar skills. Hermit is a collection of songs, not riffs, and Thal never strays out of the context of the song to show off. Within the song however, he dazzles with his finger work on "I Can't Play the Blues."
In addition to playing guitar and bass, Thal also displays his vocal skills on the record. Instead of writing all instrumentals as on his first album, Thal's vocal style ranges from classic rock style to rapping.
Expect to hear his name alot more in the near future.