Simon McKechnie – Retro
(Bad Elephant Music – 2021)
Simon latest album has one interesting structure, especially for a four tracker, with opening number being made of eight different parts itself.
The London based multi instrumentalists massive talent almost over showcases itself on the 'Origin of Species', soaring through ever super league prog influence under his belt. Tight, multi-paced rhythms and changes with a particular sense of Porcupine Tree, IQ and Flower Kings keep my ears substantially wide open, even if the distortion on one occasion proves a tad grating.
Retro seems written to fit its title, with a rattly sixties string twang support a tune that soon dissolves into his more regular prog formula. The final two cuts are suitably complex masterworks which, while taking a while to move off the pavement pull all the right movements once on course, with McKechnie's solos and bass both playing string starring parts and dipping into some plush balladry interludes, sounding nearly ripe for a classy sci-fi soundtrack.
Great performance and handling from a British player who works with Portuguese luminary, Nuno Silva as a day job but also finds time to put his talents to the test by himself.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Flower Kings, Dream Theater & Jethro Tull.