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Kerzner, Dave: Static

If you're a follower of the current prog scene then there's a good chance that you'll have already heard the work of Dave Kerzner, whether you know it or not, this man's keyboard work and vocals gracing releases and live work from Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Alan Parsons, Billy Sherwood, Jon Anderson, Keith Emerson and even Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow etc). Not content with that Kerzner also co-founded the rather outstanding Sound Of Contact with Phil Collins' son, Simon, whose Dimensionaut was one of the highlights of 2013. Static is his second solo album, his New World announced in 2015, and with a contact book as impressive as that listed above, it's no surprise that Static features a number of renowned guests, Steve Hackett, Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Nick D'Virgilio (Big Big Train), Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree) and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason (kinda…) all appearing. Which, as we know, would count for little if the music itself wasn't up to snuff.

If you've encountered Kerzner before then you won't be too surprised to hear that Static sits neatly in that odd, but crowded place known as traditional prog that sounds current. That may appear counter-intuitive, but there's no denying that Kerzner (and a host of other groups these days) are leaning on Floyd, a little Genesis and in this case maybe even a touch of ELO and 10CC, and yet as Kerzner's vocals sound resolutely retro and the guitar pings immediately bring Gilmour to mind, there's also no mistaking that this album is thoroughly entrenched in the bright, beckoning sound of the 2010's. And yet if you hear anything more Floydian than the sweeping guitar and piano of "State Of Innocence" this year, then you maybe live with Roger Waters. Kerzner and the McBrooms (Durga and Lorelei) combine superbly on backing vocals to complete the effect, although the cello of Ruti Celli is a welcome aside.

Never outshone, the main band consists Kerzner on vocals and keys, Fernando Perdomo on guitar, bass and drums, Randy McStine on guitar and Derek Clinton, also on drums and the quartet make a solid, and at times flashy unit – but never at the expense of the song. "Prelude" and "Hypocrites" make for enigmatic album introductions, a psychedelic swirl of sounds paving the way for the soothing Glimour sweep of the album's title cut, where samples of Nick Mason's drums (recorded by Alan Parsons, no less) give an unmistakable lilt, before "Reckless" adds a surging ELO meets Stealers Wheel burst of retro rock.

Moving things into a slightly more obvious 'current' style "Chain Reaction" sits somewhere between Chris Braides' Oceanic Feeling and Sound Of Contact, while "Dirty Soap Box" adds a Porcupine Tree bite to the ever present 70s vibe. Things do jump about stylistically, "Right Back To The Start" almost 70 pop rock, "Statistic" much more forceful in its keyboard led thinking, while the sixteen minute-plus of closer "The Carnival Of Modern Life" not only encapsulates everything – and more – that's come before, but also neatly wraps up the overall concept of 'the clutter and chaos' in modern everyday life, that runs through this whole album.

Much more buoyant and bullish than initial encounters may suggest and much more wide ranging than the simple retro tag I've (and others) have painted, Static is a thoroughly excellent journey into the world of a musician who's only beginning to gain the recognition he deserves. Many more albums like this from Dave Kerzner and you'll be – in the best possible way – sick of hearing his name, but never his music!

Track Listing
1. Prelude
2. Hypocrites
3. Static
4. Reckless
5. Chain Reaction
6. Trust
7. Quiet Storm
8 Dirty Soap Box
9. The Truth Behind
10. Right Back To The Start
11. Statistic
12. Millennium Man
13. State of Innocence
14. The Carnival of Modern Life

Added: February 17th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Dave Kerzner at bandcamp
Hits: 336
Language: english

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