Panic Fire – Chrysalis
(S/R – 2018)
If anybody is wondering what's happened to former Jeff Scott Soto /Takara Bassman, Gary Schutt in the last several years, it appears this is the answer - he pilots his own machine nowadays.
Switching four strings for six and seizing the mic into the bargain he began making his own sounds, and entering here at this second album, believe me they are quite a departure from his past days. Slick pop rock with a vaguely Seattle flavour is not always going to go down the biggest storm with fans of olde worlde melodic hard rock but Mr S still knows that the right hooks and right musicianship makes up.
Gary's current day fare is a set of multi paced power pop energy that has a fair lot in common at spots with early noughties favourites such as BoySetsFire, Mars Volta and Alterbridge that shows in numbers like 'Decompose', 'Kiloton Heart', 'Love Of Decay', 'Throw You In The Volcano' and 'You and Me Against The World' and a wealth of others besides.
An accomplished lead soloist as well as in throat, Schutty manages to make a lot of these twelve numbers gel without struggle and display what he's been hard at these last few years bygone. Heavy hard edged modern rock with a melodic intent echoed from the golden days, shows this chap is far from Schutting the lid on things yet.
By Dave Attrill