7D Media 2016
On the edge of experiment, seasoned rhythm raiders explore Peter Gabriel’s back pages.
There’s great irony in this band’s name, as neither Trey Gunn nor Jerry Marotta ever cared for safety in playing when they worked with the likes of Robert Fripp. But then, after the pair’s previous sonic adventures, reimagining Peter Gabriel’s catalogue might feel secure – if only his own constant shifting of its elements didn’t make such endeavor a daunting task. Albeit the veterans’ new ensemble could’ve taken the singer’s less celebrated pieces to instrumental extremes, SP opt for different approach on-stage to reproduce and vigorously enhance less celebrated tracks from their subject’s third and fourth albums.
With only “Here Comes The Flood” – dipped in unexpected dewdrop-cleansed lyricism as reflected through a relaxed, but pregnant with expectancy, strum – and the slightly spaced-out “Games Without Frontiers” qualifying for hits, vocalist Brian Cummins taps into Gabriel’s core the way he did with THE CARPET CRAWLERS. Still, it’s Marotta who delivers “Back in NYC” here as part of an attempt to navigate towards the numbers that didn’t originally feature his drumming, while the band render this GENESIS’ classic as a clear precursor to PG’s solo material. Between “Lay Your Hands” and “Biko” whose groove is chiseled to a tribal throb, former SHRIEKBACK guitarist Michael Cozzi’s equally economic, and liquid, licks work up both claustrophobia and glorious release, the very gist of these songs that Gunn’s touch is giving depth to, and as a result, the transparent pulse of “I Have The Touch” has opened into a new dimension.
In there, the quintet take “The Rhythm Of The Heat” to vertiginous emotional heights, ramping up the beat from sparse to excitingly tense, and unfold “San Jacinto” from ethereal glimmer into a soulful hymn, yet for all the alienation of “The Family & Fishing Net” and its saber-sharp riffs, group’s handclaps and a very tangible dark carnival vibe stage a riveting environment. Away from comfort zone, “Intruder” is less sinister but, with scattering percussion and scratching, creepier now in a complete contrast to “I Don’t Remember” which bounces up and down as a triumphant slice of pop, fueled with David Jameson’s keyboards. It’s eerie how familiar songs can be so faithful to their source and different at the same time; that’s where the “security” notion comes into play – SP’s conviction that this is the way to go.