Think Like A Key 2024


Catching echoes from the Canyon and the Big Pink, new breed of American root-seekers creates a forward-looking culture.

The word “prolific” doesn’t cover the work of Fernando Perdomo – the guitarist’s seeming omnipresence is offset only by the sheer variety of his oeuvre – which, however, hasn’t yet encompassed instrumental fusion, although Fern’s prog-oriented “Out To Sea” series hinted at jazz-rock. One of Perdomo’s most prominent endeavors was backing Jakob Dylan whose band also featured drummer Matt Tecu, so the two naturally gravitated towards each other, but it took the former colleagues too long to come up with this album. With “Art” feeling so organic as if the record wrote itself and the musicians were mere conduits of the many ideas on offer, there’s nary a moment to pinpoint the pair’s influences – and there’s no need to, because going with the flow should be much better course of action.

More so, there’s a vague concept lurking in the run of the tracks, the platter floating into view with a romantic and translucent, albeit robust, twang of “Start Your Engines” that gradually shifts its tempo, driven by Perdomo’s bass, and dissolving in silence with the arresting cymbals rustle of “Cool Your Jets” where folk licks reign supreme over the Mellotron background which will appear in “Apple Of The Cheek” later on to augment this number’s eerie balladry. And while the elegant “Teal” streams retrofuturistic psychedelia quite unhurriedly, the slider-oiled, greasy groove of “Chase On The PCH” is rather motorik, but both pieces transport the listener through time, and the subaquatic, reverberating “Bed Of Followers” propels the audience through space before “El Swanko” and “Naan Negociable” drift Latino way, with Tecu’s percussion seductively supporting his partner’s six-string flame. Still, “BCP” brings in a different flavor, for Matt to lay down a slow dance and recite a recipe to Fernando’s scintillating filigree, and “3:09 Am” rolls out a cinematic, almost symphonic vista Ennio Morricone and Vangelis would approve of.

Close to finale, “Tankered” may soar in a half-abstract manner, melody-wise, yet the highly imaginative beat must make it riveting, and the electronica-spiked riffs behind spice enhance “Tiny Spies” the overall impression further. And the impression is one of the start – or state of art – of a fresh adventure.


May 21, 2024

Category(s): Reviews
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