B.C. Rich has never rested on its laurels. For one thing, if this US luthier made laurels they'd probably be too spiky to touch, let alone rest on.
And for another, with the metal scene getting heavier by the year, someone has to provide the artillery to keep up.
Ever since the launch of the Seagull back in 1972, Bernie Rico's firm has edged even closer to building the ultimate rock guitar, picking up accolades from the biggest names in scare-metal along the way.
So it's with great pleasure, and no shortage of complaints from the bloke upstairs, that TG unveils the latest additions to this dysfunctional family..
The Bich has been scaring women and children since 1976, when Joe Perry of Aerosmith took to the stage with Bernie Rico's new design hanging around his neck.
In the 30 years since then, the model has been prodded, poked and reviewed by the company, and updated with B.C. Rich's awesome scorpion-like headstock.
The reason TG is currently dancing round the room like a chimp on heat is that this Special Edition is the first import Bich to feature an archtop.
Trust us, it's a big deal. B.C. Rich describe this latest model as a 'straight-ahead rocker,' but TG can think of a better assessment.
Essentially, this new Bich manages to take all the company's calling cards – the spikes, the humbuckers, the 'tude – and fuse them into a package that can be played by people who are over the age of 18.
From the gorgeous basswood archtop to the cool white binding, this is easily the most cultured of the three new models available.
We can't believe B.C. Rich didn't think of it sooner. Seeing as this is a guitar for grown-ups as well as kids, perhaps it makes sense that you can play it sitting down.
The basswood body is slim and nicely finished, and the, er, tasteful contouring keeps it sitting painlessly on your lap. There's no locking tremolo, so it's a simple case of passing the strings over an adjustable bridge and tightening them to pitch via the sealed tuners.
When you consider that the Bich provides a full two octaves to widdle over, some fret markers wouldn't have gone amiss... or perhaps we just need to brush up on our scale patterns!
Stripped of performance-enhancing effects, the Bich has a pleasant enough natural tone, though it's unlikely you'd choose it if you play nothing but clean.
This guitar's real strength lies in the ragged rock and full-on metal department, where it screams like a banshee and has sustain that lasts longer than one of Sting's tantric sex sessions.
It's fine for the widdly stuff, but TG felt that raunchy rock was where the Bich truly delivered. Crank your gain levels up halfway and those BDSM BCR humbuckers really wake up, delivering a swagger that explains exactly why Mr Perry rocked it all those years ago. It's our favourite of the three and the cheapest, too.