What others are saying about Chris Hattingh

"From the tongue-in-cheek song titles and the front cover of this CD, I thought this was some sort of joke or novelty album. Nothing could be further from the truth. This band, from Florida U.S.A., consists of only 2 members, Jim Reindel, guitars and Chris Hattingh, guitars, bass and drums. Their debut album is a whirlwind of bluesy hard rock and progressive rock guitar which even has metal like qualities due to the shredding leads and guitar riffs. The production is fairly basic as far as the drums and bass go, allowing for the amazing guitar talent of both of these men to be front and center. This album may not appeal to everyone especially if you don't like instrumental albums, but myself, also being a guitar player, I love this stuff, especially when it's done as well as it is here.

Solos are split 50/50 between the two guitarists and an amazing example of this can be found on Arthritic Shredfest (love the song titles!!). It's an eight minute song that for the first half, is nothing more than a pure Eddie Van Halen Eruption style ripping solo lead guitar. Speed picking, dive-bombs etc., it's all here and I love the way that the finger tapping section fades out only to have the other guitarist fade in doing the same thing before ripping into his full on assault. The lead playing by both these guys is simply out of this world. Their speed and technical skills shine on every single track. The actual shredding and speed picking is not overdone thankfully, instead, these 2 individuals prefer to write very thematic and hook laden material. Expressive and touching melodic solos on some of the tracks really bring Joe Satriani to mind whereas influences from Michael Schenker and Eddie Van Halen are evident on some of the more rockier up-tempo material. The leads are very smooth, very, very precise and become the voices for the songs. This is one of the few instrumental guitar albums that you really don't miss the vocals.

If you're looking for variety, this album has plenty. Songs range from mid-tempo rockers to laid back acoustically driven songs with a few blistering and almost metal-like tracks. Each track has a unique feel and quality to it that is a result of the leads and melodic hooks that are so prominent throughout. Every song has elements that grab you right from the start and manages to keep your interest, something that can be quite rare with these sorts of albums. Some of the riffing has Rush like qualities to it with these two gentlemen obviously being influenced by the playing of Alex Lifeson. A few tracks employ more chunkier guitar riffs giving a harder-edged sound and some wonderful Led Zeppelin style acoustic melodies and lead passages grace a couple of the tracks. Fans of Joe Satriani will almost certainly like this album as there is a familiarity in the style and structure of the songs.

Guitars have a voice, some hear it, some don't. When great guitarists play a solo, it's like their guitar is singing, with the song coming straight from the heart of the person playing it. Nothing is more melodic or beautiful sounding. There are many examples of this heart-felt, spine-tingling lead playing on every single track on this album. One could go over every inch of this album, phrase by phrase, solo by solo, but there's not enough space for that! Suffice to say that if you like instrumental albums (especially guitar based) or just like to hear enough great lead guitar playing for 10 albums, pick this one up for sure (Lots of ear candy!!). This is quite simply one of the best instrumental guitar albums I've ever heard. Well done guys......I can't wait for the second album and some more craziness........."

Killing Songs : Shuffleboard Champs, Bingo Night At Emily's, Arthritic Shredfest, Pass The Geritol and Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Marty at MetalReviews.com rates it as 85/100 and was the Surprise of the Month 

     

 

displays a picking technique that rivals most of today’s top players”

 

tight rhythms and imaginative arrangements”

“If the world is ready for another guitarist along the lines of Joe Satriani or Yngwie Malmsteen, Chris would be one of the best candidates we can think of for the job”

Mike Varney,
Guitar Player Magazine

Rex Havok,
Jam Magazine

Craig Michaels,
Jam Magazine

     
"Wanneer ik deze cd voor het eerst in mijn handen kreeg, dacht ik dat ik te maken had met twee afgedankte muzikanten, die nog vlug even een album uitbrachten, alvorens de instrumenten definitief aan de haak te hangen. Alles wijst ook in die richting: de hoes, de naam van de groep ‘Too old to rock’, de titels van de tracks (Bingo Night at Emily’s, Pass the Geritol, Vitamin A, enz…). Ik raad je trouwens aan eens alle titels te bekijken, echt heel origineel in een wereld , waar alles er dikwijls zo serieus aan toegaat. Maar bij nader toezien was dit gewoon maar een vleugje ironie, bedoeld om mensen alsnog aan te sporen de gitaar in de hand te nemen en er gewoon op los te rocken. En da’s precies wat Jim Reindel en Chris Hattingh ons brengen: stomende gitaarrock! En iedereen, die niet vies is van een portie heavy gitaarrock zal dit album zeker in zijn hart dragen.

Een instrumentaal gitaaralbum, absoluut geen zang, geen keyboards: dan denk je al vlug ‘boring’. Maar wees gerust, de jongens van ‘Too old to rock’ slagen erin om in elk nummer een aantal elementen in te bouwen, waardoor je blijft luisteren tot het einde. Uiteraard hoor je heel wat invloeden: Satriani, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Rush, zelfs Led Zeppelin komt soms om de hoek kijken. Maar het grote voorbeeld is duidelijk Jimi Hendrix!

En verdorie, wat zijn dit fantastische muzikanten: Jim Reindel op gitaar en Chris Hattingh op gitaar, bas en drums. Toegegeven dat de ritmesectie nu niet overdonderend is, maar dit zet des te meer het gitaarwerk in de verf. De gitaarsolo’s worden netjes verdeeld over de 2 heren en soms gaat dit zo vloeiend dat je bijna niet hoort dat er twee lead-gitaristen aan het werk zijn. Eén van die topmomenten op het album is Arthritic Shredfest (die titel !!): in het begin een vlijmscherpe gitaarsolo à la Van Halen of Rory Gallager in zijn beste dagen met Taste, met daarna een hels ritme dat me bij momenten aan ‘Thunder’ van AC/DC doet denken. Snelheid en technische vaardigheid worden hier op een fabuleuze manier gedemonstreerd, zonder dat je het gevoel krijgt dat het ‘overdone’ is. En alle ingrediënten zijn hier aanwezig als ode aan wijlen Jimi Hendrix, eventjes dacht ik terug aan Woodstock.

Heel wat nummers zijn duidelijk geïnspireerd door Joe Satriani, vooral daar waar de gitaarsolo’s melodischer klinken. Maar vaak gaat het er ook heel wat harder aan toe en klinkt het meer als Van Halen en occasioneel hoor je ook een flard Rush.

De heren schuwen ook het zachtere werk niet, zoals bijvoorbeeld op het mooie akoestische Viagra Falls :-) of het dromerige en speelse Senior Citizen Boogie. Eigenlijk mis je op geen enkel moment de zang, de beide heren laten hun gitaren zingen. En wat te zeggen van Goodbye Spander, een up-tempo rocker met duellerende gitaren.

Kortom, dit album is een absolute must voor iedereen, die kickt op spetterend gitaarwerk. Maar zelfs al hou je niet onmiddellijk van Satriani, Vai en anderen, dan raad ik toch aan om eens naar dit album te luisteren. En ik ben zeer benieuwd naar wat deze heren ons nog in de toekomst te bieden hebben. Hoeft het nog gezegd, dit is een aanrader!"
Claude" Clayreon" Bosschem at Prog-Nose.org rates it 9 out of 10
     
“Chris Hattingh is obviously one of the best guitarists in the State of Indiana”
 

“incredible album, great production and amazing guitar work”
 

“Hattingh possesses an awesome technical talent (ripping the fretboard to shreds on the Malmsteenish modal ‘Gassical Class’). If you ever need a demonstration of the unlimited tonal range of a guitar synth, here’s the silver biscuit to explore”

Dave McNamara,
WBWB

Jeff Filbert,
WFIT

Richard Proplesch,
Florida Indy Reviews

     
 "I usually shy away from reviewing instrumental albums, but since I wanted to have this one included in the last update of the year, I didn't send it to our resident (evil) Widdlymaister Bandi. Besides, this CD amused me even before I had played it, as the song titles are some of the funniest I've seen. They all follow the theme of "Too Old To Rock", so you'll get songs like "Bingo Night At Emily's", "Hair Today Gone Tomorrow" and "Viagra Falls". Not to mention that the cover features two elderly "axemen" rockin' and rollin'. And no, "Too Old To Rock" aren't that old, Jim Reindel (gt) and Chris Hattingh (gt, bs, drs) seem to be a bit younger than the gentlemen on the cover.
    "Too Dumb To Quit" is all instrumental guitar rock songs, ranging from classic rock and hard rock to more progressive stuff and acoustic ballads. My favourite tracks are the 80'ies hard rock-styled "Goodbye Spandex" (figures!), the beautiful ballad "Viagra Falls" , "Pass The Geritol" which has a Satriani-vibe to it and especially the brilliant "Bingo Night At Emily's", a pure instrumental AOR track in the vein of Journey.
   
All in all, a good indie instrumental release, with extra points for humour. This might have even more to offer to the guitar freaks out there, but it does have its' fair share of good tunes for the average music fan like me too."

Kimmo Toivonen, RockUnited.com

 

   "Remorse Code" review:

   Don't let the title of the CD, Shred Head, fool you. While Chris Hattingh definitely does shred, his is not your stereotypical Yngwie wanna-be "look-at-how-many-scales-I-know" brainless metal. This may be due to 2 things: 1) Chris is just a f*#@*ing good guitar player; 2) He is spoofing one of the great progressive guitar players, Steve Morse.
   Even if you're not familiar with Steve Morse you will love this track if you like good, creative instrumental rock. There is a variety of feels here, the principle one is a sort of neon-bluegrass, there s also some heavy double bass drum work, and a great sort of dueling guitarists feel to the structure and the mix. This works very well, because as Chris works on one-upping himself, he reaches into different parts of his vocabulary the same way a guitarist might when they really are trying to throw a curve to fellow shredder.
   This track is highly recommended. I hope a lot of young players will find it and grow up emulating Chris instead of some radio god who knows three scales really well.


 
Charisma: 8.00
Technical Skill: 10.00
Structure: 9.00
Interest: 8.50
Performance: 9.00
Recording Quality: 9.00
Long Term Appeal: 8.00
OVERALL: 8.70

What do these scores mean?

Russ Durand,
GodsOfMusic.com

     
   "Just by looking at the cover of Too Old Too Rock's "Too Dumb Too Quit" I was beginning to question why I took this particular Rough Edge writing gig. Featured prominently on the cover of Too Old Too Rock's debut "Too Dumb Too Quit" is a picture of two old guys, one with a banjo and one with a guitar, "rocking out" while resting on a wooden bench with their feet on a milk  crate. And the songs titles weren't helping me out either (example: "Bingo Night At Emily's").
But, as I often find out, it's not a good idea to judge a CD by its cover (or its song titles).
    The music contained on Too Old Too Rock's "Too Dumb Too Quit" is pure guitar-based instrumentals - just my kind of thing. "Too Dumb Too Quit" covers a wide swath of styles and moods. What shines through the most is the ability of the guitarist duo of Jim Reindel and Chris Hattingh to vary the tempos, styles, and moods throughout the entire disc. Occasionally, some obvious influences creep in, but I think that is the nature of instrumentals - it's damn near impossible to escape one's influences especially when there aren't any vocals to add to the overall experience. Not that I'm complaining or anything.
    "Shuffleboard Champs" is a perfect intro to Too Old Too Rock - this up-tempo number is filled with burning energy. "Arthritic Shredfest" is like a Vai-Van Halen crossbred, caffeinated, supercharged monster that never lets up. "Dance Of The Coffin Dodgers" and "Second Mortgage Blues" have the sort of mellow "surfing" sounds made so popular by Joe Satriani. The Michael Schenker-ism in "Pass The Geritol" pay homage to the guitar great that has influenced countless hundreds of guitar shredders. Even the sweet sounds of the bluesy Eric Johnson can be heard on the high flying "Senior Citizen Boogie."
    The arrangements are just left-of-center enough to keep guitar fanatics interested at all times, but no so wacky as to lose the interest of the casual fan. The geriatric theme is a neat little curveball that kept me guessing until I'd actually plopped the CD in for a studious listen. At the end of these twelve tracks of guitar instrumentals you'll be impressed, not overwhelmed - and that's a good way to feel at the end of an instrumental CD.
    "Too Dumb Too Quit" was produced by Too Old Too Rock. For an independent release the quality of the recording is phenomenal.  Too Old Too Rock is Jim Reindel on acoustic and electric guitars and Chris Hattingh on acoustic and electric guitars, bass, and drums."
 

Christopher J Kelter,
RoughEdge.com

     
"Kann ein waschechter Rock´n Roller too old zum rocken sein??? Wohl kaum! Schaue ich mir die beiden alten Daddies auf dem Cover an, muss ich schon schmunzeln, das ist echt Rock´n Roll. Wenn ich im geriatrischen Daseinsstadium noch so agil mein Banjo/Gitarre schwinge, na dann Halleluja!
Nur leider sind die beiden Opis nicht die Protagonisten, sondern Frank und Cliff. Warscheinlich die Väter von den eigentlichen Machern Jim und Chris. Diese beiden etwas jüngeren Gitarreros haben allem Anschein nach aber auch nicht minder am Quell´ des Lebens genascht. Die "condensed Biography" gibt leider auch nicht soviel Preis über das Duo Flitzefingeranto. Nagut, sie kommen wohl aus Florida und dieses Scheiblein ist ihr Debut, aber wen interessiert sowas wirklich? Noone!
Viel interessanter hingegen ist die Tatsache das "TOO OLD..." kräftig losrocken und so ziemlich jedes unanständige Rock´n Roll-Riff aus ihrer sechssaitigen Freundin würgen. Das Debut kommt als komplettes Instrumental-Album, was an der Flut von schlechten Sänger nicht von Nachteil ist. So bietet "Too dumb to quit" ein echtes Hörvergnügen für alle Progrocker und Gitarrenfreunde. Ich prahle nicht, wenn ich hier Vergleiche zum guten alten Steve Vai ziehe oder mich ein wenig an Michael Schenker lehne. Wer sich fernab von Trends und "Lieblingsbands" mal den Abend kulturell effektiv versüßen will, sollte nicht "TOO OLD TO ROCK" sein! Denn dieses Album besitzt, trotz des extravagenten Genres, höchsten Unterhaltungswert und wird auch bei mir der ein oder anderen Hightech-Metalscheibe den Rang ablaufen. Unterm Strich ist "Too dumb.." ein stimmungsloses, nettes, gute Laune machendes Rock-Hörvergnügen der Extraklasse was allerdings nur für Leute geeignet sein dürfte, welche mindestens eine QUEENSRYCHE-, zwei RUSH- und eine Joe Satriani-CD in ihrem CD-Ständer rumhängen haben. Zeitlos schöne Prog-Rock-Gitarren-Unterhaltung deren Beschaffung aufgrund des Eigenproduktionsstatusses schwer zu beschaffen sein dürfte, die Mühe aber definitiv wert ist."
Chris Mummelthey of Vampster.com gives it 4 out of 5