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(44:55, Progrock Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Falling Ash 5:23 2. Running Blind 5:06 3. Uncover Me 1:52 4. Down in New Orleans 6:28 5. Running Back to You 4:16 6. London Vibe 2:25 7. Lionheart Betrayed 2:18 8. Sandcastles 0:54 9. Across the Pond 4:53 10. Rising Sun 8:08 11. Happy in the Rain 3:12 LINEUP: Peter Matuchniak – guitars, bass; keyboards; vocals Rick Meadows – bass Jimmy Keegan – drums Natalie Azerad – vocals Ted Zahn – vocals Conor Jonson – sax David Gilman – flute, sax With: Vance Gloster – keyboards Mike Eager – guitars Jim DeBaun – bass Jesse Molloy – sax Henry Miller – trumpet
Prolusion. US based composer and instrumentalist Peter MATUCHNIAK first appeared back in the 80's as a member of Janysium and Mach One, two of the lesser known bands active in the so called neo progressive movement in 80's England. Many years later he has returned as an active musician, first with Evolve IV and later with Gekko Projekt. He's also found the time to record material for a solo album, and makes his debut as a solo artist in 2012 with "Uncover Me".
Analysis. Matuchniak's various attachments to different parts of the art rock realm are probably the main reason for this production to be sent out to a variety of progressive rock oriented sites for review. Not that the contents of this disc are without interest for art rock fans as such, as there are quite a few fine examples of creations that border and even cross that threshold, but because the stylistic foundation appears to be of a different character. Through arrangements and compositional development we do get art rock here, but my main impression is that "Uncover Me" is by and large a singer/songwriter creation given rock and art rock embellishments. And a few touches of jazz and jazz rock to boot I might add. The dual entry of Falling Ash and Rising Sun will be the ones most of interest to a progressive rock oriented audience though. Opening with a certain symphonic art rock flamboyance gradually winding down to a gentle acoustic expression for the former, while the latter is a reverse trip as far as compositional development goes. Both are Intriguing creations, dual parts of a single composition that works fairly in terms of establishing an identity for this disc when placed as the opening and second to last track. In between them we're served a fair amount of gentle melodic rock with Running Blind and Running Back to You, some easygoing, folk oriented singer/songwriter constructions by way of Uncover Me, Lionheart Betrayed and Sandcastles, while Down in New Orleans, London Vibe and Across the Pond take on a more or less distinct jazz-oriented expression. And as the closing statement we get Hippy in the Rain, where Matuchniak has his one purebred go as a singer/songwriter artist, and a charming, well made one at that. Dual vocals and an acoustic guitar can create most intriguing atmospheres when utilized in a good manner, and this latter easygoing creation is a good example of just that.
Conclusion. "Uncover Me" isn't an album that will inspire much adoration form a strictly art rock oriented audience due to the singer/songwriter stylistic roots. But if you enjoy music of this kind given embellished arrangements and utilizing compositional development to hover near the borders of the art rock realm, and think you might enjoy a few folk and jazz tinged excursions to boot, then this is an artist and album that might just charm you into exploring it more thoroughly.
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