Cherry Red 2015
Cosmic romantic: ex-WISHBONE ASH bassist wishes upon a star but finds bliss on Earth.
One may only wonder why Martin Turner is so obsessed with tethering himself to the group he left behind long ago, as the veteran has moved on from the old template since then. Even though Martin’s live albums such as "The Garden Party" heavily rely on the classic material, 1996’s “Walking The Reeperbahn” signalled the bassist’s solo debut which veered away from classic formula, and its follow-up takes his development much further. These 11 pieces are a suite wherein space and affairs of the heart are intrinsically linked by lyricism and – as suggested in the orchestral finale of “Interstellar Rockstar” – a smile.
So there’s no grandiloquence beyond “The Big Bang (Overture)” with its otherworldly blues lick, as “For My Lady” or “Pretty Little Girls” playfully demonstrate, while “Lovers” harks back to the ’60s innocence. Not for nothing wordless high ideas in “The Beauty Of Chaos” are anchored to the ground via a vocal hum, an acoustic strum and a mighty twang leaving the folk lightness to “Vapour Trail” – the closest Turner has come to the WISHBONE sound here. But the riffs get heavy in the title track whose sweet vocal harmonies balance the tension before Danny Willson and Misha Nikolic’s twin guitars lift the weight and pass it to “The Lonely Star” to turn this waltz into an anthem.
With “Falling Sands” picking up where “Persephone” left off, a wonderful anguish sets in for a soft shuffle to ooze misty-eyed hope, yet the delicate rumble of “Mystify Me” is a release of Turner’s belligerence, his desire to explore the darkness. Still, the darkness can be a background for stars, and that’s an allure of it all. That’s looking beyond, not casting a glance back; that’s why it’s time to dust off the ashes and move forward.