Dave Kerzner 2017
Sociopolitical commentary on a white noise in the hour of darkness – for those addicted to distraction yet willing to break free.
Outside “The Wall” and few other albums, progressive rock rarely concerns itself with all things mundane, no matter how wrong they are, preferring instead to wallow in otherworldly ideas. Dave Kerzner’s solo debut “New World” seemed to have go down the same route, which can’t be said of that record’s successor. Another concept work, “Static” is as expansive, duration-wise, and though culling some of the passages would concentrate its concept, the listener should be immersed in what’s on display now.
With lesser focus on guest players this time, Kerzner is painting a gloomy outlook of current affairs, constant brain-washing and information overload, as TV aural effects undercurrent seep into most of the numbers here and Ed Unitsky’s images give such a dark fantasy a visual front. Once piano piece “Prelude” has prepared a pregnant expectancy to spread around, nervous funk groove of “Hypocrites” stacks up a precariously slanted pyramid of sound to accurately convey the state of minds in the world where hectic, headless race – reflected in sharp guitar riffs, throbbing synthesizers and stumbling drums – is the order of the day. In the world which could be beautiful as the blissful vocals suggest, but which is bound to be ruined by today’s farce, its theatrical nature mirrored by various voice positions in stereo layout.
This madly colored panorama will unfold in “The Carnival Of Modern Life ” – the epic finale placing crazy cabaret, shaped with organ wigouts and Durga McBroom’s wail, in the heart of the matter. The dystopian notions get banished from acoustically charged, in a country way, if dry, “Reckless” that displays ivories-delivered swirl and surge as the signs of confusion, only to come back on “Dirty Soap Box” when Steve Hackett mounts a monumental solo amidst angular screech and stifled speech.
“Wake up you dreamers, see through the lie,” calls the soft, yet stately, “State Of Innocence” to hit many a nerve unexpectedly hard, whereas Nick Mason’s drums drive the title track’s balladry to the brink of sweet pain – rippling and ripping the psyche just like the cello-spiked and slider-kissed “Trust” does. Still, “Statistic” condenses the record’s atmosphere in a multilayered instrumental which spirals higher and higher to bring hope into the emotional mix. It takes some filtering to feel the soul of one another, after all; cut through the static, and hearing thy neighbor won’t be a problem.