Look, I know this is all the rage, this nu-prog lark, but for the life of me I don’t see why. Plini and his cohorts are demonstrably masters of their respective arts, but since when has listening to jazz been an acceptable pursuit for the young?
Because, a few distorted riffs and double kick drums aside, that’s what you’re getting with Sunhead.
Opening track Kind, with it’s chunky staccato rhythms and duelling axe/keys runs sounds like a refugee from a never-released Dixie Dregs album (nothing wrong with that – Ed), and possibly for that reason it just about gets a pass, but Salt + Charcoal, which follows the same basic template, loses its way so badly you might as well be listening to George Benson or Earl Klugh. Or, God help us, nineties lounge lizards The Rippingtons.
All of which has its place – and I speak from the shaky ground of owning all of Toto‘s albums – but surely it’s not in the world of metal, so-called progressive or otherwise?
Flâneur adds elements of Yes to the mix – some of the more fluid playing echoes Steve Howe whilst Chris Squire would surely have approved of the funky bass, although the café del mar sax courtesy of The 1975’s John Waugh will push even reasonable men like me over the edge wIth it’s SHEER, UNABASHED JAZZINESS.
Last track Sunhead, if you are still hanging in there, at least rewards the listener with a bit of crunch, but it’s only a bit, and at the end of the day it’s hard to see many people who read Sentinel Daily finding much to enjoy with this release.
Despite Gavin’s misgivings, Plini will release Sunhead on July 27th. Get your jazz hands ready and get involved!