Bart D. : Theo van Niel Jr. is a young Dutch guitar player with the chops to become an in-demand player in whatever field he chooses. Session? Live guitarist? Product presenter? Anyway: with 'Practised Bravado' his chops are on full display. And the listener is lucky: he chose to present them in the form of easily digestible instrumentals. Melody and groove are never forgotten. The drums are handled by great drummers - look 'em up! So while this record seems to be his business card, this is by all means a fun listen. His playing has a very slinky and vibrant touch: the notes jump right out. This is also thanks to his sound: a healthy dose of maple and compression combined with country-influenced technique make for a sound similar to Guthrie Govan. But make no mistake: all this talk about country and vibrant doesn't mean there aren't some damn heavy riffs on here!
Here's to hoping Theo van Niel Jr. will go on with his solo stuff or form a band to really go out and create his own thing. Because while all the influences are here loud and clear, nothing beats hearing a musician daring to craft his own niche.