After branching out (only slightly) for 2006's From the Soil to the Soul, Tommy Guerrero returned to his usual repertoire -- a one-man-band setup and breezy instrumental soul ock -- for Return of the Bastard. Granted, From the Soil to the Soul was hardly a radical departure; it included only a few deeper grooves and one high-profile feature (for Lyrics Born). But it's still nice to have Guerrero back creating his own record, seemingly unencumbered even by the few suggestions that such an artist-oriented label like Quannum may have come up with. Although instrumental music this light and laid-back risks being called lazy, it's clear Guerrero isn't just an aimless street-corner musician. His guitar solos, obtuse yet warm, are always interesting, whether smooth and acoustic or raggedly electric, and at several points he adds his own kalimba or Fredo Ortiz on conga to vary the sound. Material like this is always going to be considered primarily as the background for a visual narrative, but like great instrumental rock from Link Wray to Don Caballero, it creates its own narrative.