Forward Motion 2020
Reflecting echoes from the era of yore, American master of rock arts sets sails for winds of fortune.
It’s about time Fernando Perdomo forgot how to compartmentalize his talent in a stylistic cabin and started treating his initials as Fine Player rather than Fucking Progger the guitarist’s been trying to become far too long. Hopefully, with the 2020 issue of Cruise To The Edge – an enterprise that inspired and fueled his oeuvre for a few years now – canceled, Fernando will find closure, and what began on "Out To Sea" in 2018 will finally cross the boundaries of his chosen genre. They blur a bit within this instrumental saga’s last installment, a sort of concept offering, which makes it special, possibly pointing to a much more interesting future.
Of course, “The U.F.O. Club” should be facing the past to let Perdomo pay homage to raw psychedelia, as opposed to usual art-rock prototypes, and unleash a wah-wah attack whose heaviness sets up the tidal insistence of “Doom Is Often Loud” – a top-notch blues anchored to a nicely textured grandiosity – but there’s more to this sonic panorama. Although “The Crab” expands its palette quite cautiously, “Tambourines Of Malmo” may seem superficial only at first glance, before the complex detailing of the piece’s fusion heart is revealed, whereas “Dawn” – the album’s translucent finale – leaves a lingering aftertaste, so the record’s repeated spins are guaranteed.
From the acoustic-to-electric lace of its titular theme – triumphal and funereal as any maritime number must feel – onward, the melodic flow is immaculate, the twangy filigree in “Wonder” taking the drift beyond the mandolin-outlined pale, to faux-orchestral waters, for six-string passages that propel “Cycles” across harmonic waves to amplify the album’s warm alienation. Ethereal, if deep, “The Great Known” undermines such mood, while the sharp riffs of “Frenzy” up the drama, yet “The Storm” – tinctured with piano, caressed with sitar and spiced up with handclaps – projects a different light on Fernando, emerging here as a thoughtful composer rather than an outstanding performer, an artist able to transmute a simple tune into something unpredictably enchanting.
If this course turns out to be Fern’s new method, he’s bound to leave any cabin and carve a unique niche – Perdomo’s totally capable of that.