Yes, the brand that brought us the über-metal Warlock body, brings us the Pitchfork headstock, a design feature that’s going to see this Assassin come in real handy if and when – and at this stage it kind of feels like when – the zombie apocalypse arrives. It just looks dangerous, but then that’s the point.
The Andy James Assassin comes in regular six-string configurations but should you need to dip your guitar pick into the shark-infested waters of the extended-range instrument, you can also get it as a seven-string guitar, or, indeed, an eight-string.
This might be old news to those who saw James rock stadiums with Five Finger Death Punk as the US metal band supported Metallica on their recent M72 Tour, with James testing his new signature guitar under the highest-profile conditions possible, but it’s a sign perhaps that the brand that enjoyed a lot of headlines thanks to Stranger Things' Eddie Munson shred set piece is resurgent.
So what is the Andy James Assassin? Offered in a choice of Satin Black, Satin White or Translucent Green, it is has a 21st-century S-style body shape with a neck-through design, the aforementioned ‘Pitchfork’ headstock is outfitted with locking high-ration 18:1 Grover tuners – an EverTune bridge ensures the hardware choices are made with the hurly burly of a metal show in mind.
James has gone for a pair of Fishman Fluence Modern humbuckers at the neck and bridge. There is just a single volume pot with a push/pull function for toggling the Fluence’s voicings, and a three-way pickup selector switch.
He has dispensed with the heel altogether; upper-fret access is the priority here, and is granted courtesy of this Shredzilla neck cut. The necks are super-slim profile, and comprise maple with two strips of wenge to strengthen. The bodies are mahogany, with figured maple on the trans finish.
That finish, come to think of it, looks inspired by the ‘Dime slime’ that Dimebag Darrell used to sport – and that Scott Ian’s 2023 'Baldini' Jackson V referenced. File that under modern classic metal guitar finishes.
Ebony fingerboards with 24 extra-jumbo frets are as standard, as is the Andy James glow-in-the-dark square fret marker inlays. Also, can you even call yourself a high-performance electric guitar these days if you don’t have Luminlay side-dot markers? Exactly. You’ll find them here.
The Andy James Assassin is available direct from BC Rich and select retailers. Both Sweetwater and Andertons are carrying them, and they are priced from £2,099/$2,199 street. For more details see BC Rich.