Middle Class Rut''s debut CD is a raucous, bombastic affair with dynamic arrangements and soaring melodies

Middle Class Rut
No Name No Color
Bright Antenna

MCRut’s debut is one of the few recent releases whose raucous abandon has a serious chance of jolting you out of your chair. But it’s not just about Sean Stockham’s bombastic drums and Zack Lopez’s tattered vocal chords and bristling tones. Lopez (who favors Les Paul Juniors, Oranges, and Marshalls) and Stockham (who also sings via a headset mic) do pack these 12 tracks with attitude and bombast, but it would all be for naught without the dynamic arrangements and the soaring vocal melodies and harmonies—which sound like a cross between Jane’s Addiction, Rage Against the Machine, and the Beastie Boys. “Are You on Your Way” serves up ethereal, delay-soaked leads, taut, subtly dissonant rhythms, and a wistful, ghostly outro, while “Cornbred” has swampy, lo-fi acoustic work, and “New Low” is driven by a tense ticking-time-bomb palm mute, corpulent chords in the chorus, and a quirkily beautiful Whammy solo. Throughout each track, the deft guitar layering somehow sounds airy while busting your chops like a brass knuckle.

A chambered body and enhanced switching make this affordable Revstar light and loaded with tones.

Scads of cool tone combinations. Articulate pickups. Relatively light. Balanced and comfortable. Well built.

Some P-90 players might miss the extra grit the Revstar trades for articulation.

Yamaha Revstar Standard RSS02T


While the Yamaha name is famous in circles beyond the guitar world, they’ve made first-class guitars since the 1960s. And while they don’t unleash new releases with the frequency of some larger guitar brands, every now and then they come down the mountain with a new axe that reminds us of their capacity to build great electric 6-strings. In 2015, Yamaha introduced the first generation Revstar. With a handsome aesthetic inspired by the company’s motorcycle racing heritage, the Revstar combined sweet playability and vintage style touchstones. This year, Yamaha gave the Revstar an overhaul—including body chambering, updated pickups, and new switching. What’s impressive is how these alterations enhance the already impressive playability and versatility of the original.

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Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein unveils a new line of strings, collaborating with Josh Vittek of Sheptone.

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See a sampling of picks used by famous guitarists over the years.

Marty Stuart

Submit your own artist pick collections to rebecca@premierguitar.com for inclusion in a future gallery.