From the eyecatching artwork to the recording depth and clarity – especially on Dan’s vocals – to the adventurous and fresh songs themselves, Perfection Kills represents quite a jump forward in impact and appeal of his recordings, for this listener. Elsewhere on this site he explains the story behind this collection of songs in a new Q & A session.
First cut Johnny ripples in and starts off with its jerky, dirt-laden chords and slightly distorted vocal. It’s as though Dan is channeling his inner John Cougar Mellencamp. The bass is deep, the Hammond rich in tone and the drums almost subterranean in depth. The guitar break is screaming and fluid. A strong opener…
Never Long Enough sports a spooky piano intro and that snarly guitar is kept clear of the vocal for the most part. The dark melody just gets to you, on this one. Patlansky sounds just as inspired as ever but his sense of dynamics is so much improved. The delay on the guitar fills is well-engineered. Overall the mood here is close to Alice In Chains. The beautiful start to Mayday and use of strings pads makes for complete contrast. It’s a winsome item and the tinkling piano is a gorgeous addition. The guitar sound is kept clean and not over-reverbed, so the production has echoes of Ryan Adams, when he is focussed….a triumph of a track, Dan.
Too Far Gone is a gritty rocker with a definite Jimi vibe ; Judge A Man is a surefooted Texas-style slowie showing some SRV influence, down to the amp reverb and coasting Hammond. The lyric is a grainy admonition, the guitar fills snappy but the chorus something of a twist that makes the song more adventurous, with the group clearly relishing the delivery. Junket Man is chest-beating kerosene rock-blues with the drums playing across time to give an unsettling backdrop. It all sounds propulsively evil. A good addition to the programme. On to iEyes has a driven chattery sound and could be a composition by Chris Duarte, it’s that good! Dan sings up a storm and @ 2:15 starts to burn on the Strat, over stabs of clavinet. Energetic stuff.
Shake The Cage is surefooted slow funk, gritty vocal phrasing used sparingly. My Dear Boy has keen tumbling guitar chording as its engine and an almost Dylanesque bit of vocal yearning. Every cut is displaying an individual feel. Matters finish with
Dog Day with its choppy guitar, fat ensemble sound and an angry vocal. Does sound like it should be in a film ….Roadhouse 2, anybody?
Though Patlansky has already picked up in the UK a following for his energetic guitar work, this release should add fans of cool songs to the coterie. No bad thing for a hardworking cat and his band….pleasing to hear a lot less fighting between the voice and guitar. The cherry on this sound cake is Mayday, in my humble opinion.
You can read our exclusive interview with Dan Patlansky chatting about his new album here: http://bit.ly/2rDtUB5
For all of our other Patlansky articles here: http://bit.ly/2kxaVA9
Dan Patlansky’s new album ‘Perfection Kills’ is out now and he will be on tour in the UK in March 2018 with special guest Mollie Marriott.