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(50:25; Evolve IV)
This is a new album to me, even though it is actually quite old, as it was released back in 2007! Peter Matuchniak kindly sent me some older albums of his, so here we have a quartet comprising Michael Eager (vocals, rhythm guitar), Peter Matuchniak (lead guitar, keyboards), Jim DeBaun (bass) and Paul Sheriff (drums). It took me quite a while to get into this album, as I wasn’t too sure of Eager’s vocals, which are more workmanlike than stunning, but if ever an album deserves listening to more than once then it is this one. Peter may be an ex-pat (there are a few of us about), but he plays as if he was born American as there is very little in his style to let one realise that he formed his first band (Janysium) when at Little Ealing Middle School! There are times when he lets his more progressive style come to the fore such as when he is breaking through “Rolling Along” where Natalie Azerad (who also performed on later Matuchniak albums) provides some wordless lead vocals. A special mention should also be made of saxophonist David Gilman (who has also kept his relationship with Peter) who has a major impact on “Listen Up”. This isn’t a classic album, yet the more I played it the more I enjoyed it. It isn’t pure prog, but American rock with proggy influences here and there, and while the songs are fairly commercial, poppy and in your face, it is Peter’s guitar which really makes it stand out. Apparently, there were supposed to be more albums as they had written a lot of material, but to this day this is the only release. It may not be essential, but it is still well worth a listen and is thoroughly enjoyable.
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