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 (kindaďż˝) 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 ďż˝ 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 ďż˝ and more ďż˝ 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 ďż˝ in the best possible way ďż˝ sick of hearing his name, but never his music!
5. Chain Reaction
7. Quiet Storm
8 Dirty Soap Box
9. The Truth Behind
10. Right Back To The Start
12. Millennium Man
13. State of Innocence
14. The Carnival of Modern Life
Added: June 12th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Dave Kerzner at bandcamp
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|Kerzner, Dave: Static
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-06-12 17:20:58
Dave Kerzner co-founded the progressive rock band Sound Of Contact in 2009. The quartet, which also included Simon Collins released their debut album Dimensionaut in 2013, and what a great album it is. Since then the band disbanded (although there has been talk of the band getting back together) and Kerzner has been developing his solo career first with the release of New World in 2014 and the subsequent follow up Static in late 2017, the subject of this review. On the album Kerzner (lead and backing vocals, keyboards) has brought together an excellent supporting cast including:
Fernando Perdomo (guitar, bass, drums)
Randy McStine (guitar and special effects)
Derek Cintron (drums)
Durga McBroom (backing vocals)
Lorelei McBroom (backing vocals)
Other guests include Colin Edwin (bass), Nick Mason (drums), Matt Dorsey (bass), Chris Johnson (guitar), Stuart Fletcher (bass), Alex Cromarty (drums), Ruti Celli (cello), Nick Dâ€™Virgilio (drums), Steve Hackett (guitar) and Ewa Karolina Lewowska (backing vocals).
On the album Kerzner explores classic rock, psychedelic and of course progressive rock sounds. His keyboard playing displays a diversity of sounds but it is also his vocals that stand out. Mostly he takes on a Floydy style, somewhere between David Gilmour and Roger Waters and it is very effective, traversing a dreamy floating style to a more intense angry tone, ala Waters. After a short intro the album begins in earnest with the heavy hitting â€śHypocritesâ€ť where the singing style has a biting tone to match the edgy lyrics. An excellent repeating guitar riff reeled me in and once youâ€™re there you will hear all sorts of goodness including an excellent keyboard solo from Kerzner and Perdomoâ€™s outstanding guitar exploits. Next is the psychedelic sounding title track with its pretty keyboard and vocal melodies. This song just floats along on those awesome keyboards and psychedelic edged guitar work. The keyboard strings add a certain amount of lushness and if you are not careful itâ€™s 1972 all over again. And thatâ€™s fine by me. The backing vocals of the McBroom sisters are just so good I wished they performed on more than three tracks. â€śRecklessâ€ť is another rocking track with an addictive acoustic guitar riff and a background filled with progressive delights. The rock continues with â€śChain Reactionâ€ť, an upbeat tune with a nice groove and excellent lead vocals from Kerzner. Kerznerâ€™s melodic sensibility really shines through on this one and the guitar from Perdomo and Chris Johnson also deserves to be mentioned. One of the most beautiful tracks has to be â€śTrustâ€ť with Kerzner channeling his love of The Beatles with perhaps a dash of Porcupine Tree. This one invokes a psychedelic dream world that I really didnâ€™t want to end. The short â€śQuiet Stormâ€ť is a trippy little tune leading directly into the edgy â€śDirty Soap Boxâ€ť which flat out rocks, punctuated with an excellent guitar riff and Kerznerâ€™s slightly venomous lyrics. For more Floydy moments of bliss check out â€śThe Truth Behindâ€ť, a dichotomy of heavy and lighter sounds. â€śThe Carnival of Modern Lifeâ€ť ends the disc in epic fashion with its twisty turning roads, trippy effects and a varied guitar approach.
Sure, Static may not be the most original album of 2017 but when I play music I am not always looking for completely original sounds. This thing resonated with me from the very beginning as the hooks and overall playing are excellent. Just a great disc!
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