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(70:25, Giant Electric Pea Records)
TRACK LIST: 1. Lay Your Hands on Me 5:56 2. I Don't Remember 3:59 3. No Self Control 4:07 4. The Family and the Fishing Net 7:12 5. I Have the Touch 4:36 6. Intruder 4:23 7. The Rhythm of the Heat 4:45 8. San Jacinto 7:44 9. Games without Frontiers / Of These, Hope 8:07 10. Here Comes the Flood 7:36 11. Back in NYC 5:47 12. Biko 6:13 LINEUP: David Jameson – keyboards; egeinharp Trey Gunn – guitars; vocals Jerry Marotta – drums; vocals Michael Cozzi – guitars; vocals Brian Cummins – vocals
Prolusion. The US-based band SECURITY PROJECT was formed in 2012, consisting of a main core of Jerry Marotta (ex-Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp & David Sylvian), Trey Gunn (ex-King Crimson, ProjeKct), David Jameson and Michael Cozzi. Three different vocalists have been a part of the band so far, and Brian Cummins took over the vocal duties from original singer Josh Gleason in 2014. "Live1" is their first album, and was released by the renowned UK label Giant Electric Pea (owned by IQ) in the late spring of 2016.
Analysis. The most important aspect of the Security Project to take note of straight away is that it is a cover band, specializing in the music of Peter Gabriel in general and the material from his first four solo albums in particular. One should probably add that the band has a solid reputation as a live unit, and seeing the instrumentalists, and vocalists that are a part of the band, one would indeed expect them to deliver the goods in solid quality on stage. This debut album is obviously a live album, capturing and documenting the band at what they do best. While I don't have an intimate knowledge of Gabriel's early solo material, apart from obviously encountering many of the songs in various settings over the years, I'm not in the position to be able to compare these versions to the originals in any meaningful manner. But, I suspect, it's a fairly safe statement to claim that Security Project does a bit more than merely recreate these songs. At the same time, the songs are highly recognizable; they haven't been turned inside out or otherwise been subjected to overt, dramatic changes to the point of transforming them into something completely different. The key factor here, at least for me, is the lead vocals. The vocals are an instrument in its own right, and in Brian Cummins the band has found a vocalist able to recreate Peter Gabriel's voice to a high degree of perfection in terms of timbre, force, approach and delivery. Whatever may be taking place in support of his vocals, his voice ensures that the Peter Gabriel vibe and spirit are present in an almost tangible manner. This allows the instrumentalists to have a go at being, perhaps a bit more expressive and inventive than if that hadn't been the case. Apart from the Genesis song Back in NYC, which I found to be strained and too sharp, the material is given a sometimes subtle and presumably more firm makeover, as these live renditions add a strong contemporary sheen to all the songs. The liberal use of floating, textured instrumental details is one of those choices that breathe more life and vitality into the songs by way of sounding up to date, modern and contemporary. Some songs come across closer in sound to The Police, others have more of a King Crimsonian tinge to them, and while often vocals dominated, none of them have that commercial pop/rock radio sound. Appealing and compelling indeed, but with a lot more going on than you hear in most songs aimed at and played by commercial FM radio.
Conclusion. While a cover band normally isn't all that interesting, Security Project comes across as one of those rare exceptions that merit a check despite of rather than because of what they are. Excellent musicians that carefully reinvent classic material, with a quality vocalist safekeeping the emotional, core foundation and feeling of classic songs held in high esteem by a lot of people around the world. If you treasure the solo material of Peter Gabriel in general and the first four of his solo albums in particular, this is a CD that merits an inspection.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 15, 2016
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