Classic Rock Radio Dot EU - New Music Review
Spotlight: Mr Averell - Gridlock (Equally Tuned / Gonzo Multimedia 2013)
I been spending the last part of the week getting to know Mr Averell. It's a AKA for Dutch visual sound artist René van Commenée. I'm actually focused on the second offering of Mr Averell's sound projects called Gridlock. Every time I play it over my stereo's speakers, I hear something that I had not noticed before. The artist's roots are in Avant Garde, but they also branch out into the more traditional areas such as rock. Still don't mistake this for a mainstream rock album. Closer to progressive rock if I had to label it. Lots more freedom for musical expression, which is what you find here.
The name Mr Averell is used by Rene' in order to record and release song-based recordings. He sees it as a band in which he is main writer and performer. As a listener to what Commenée creates I can say whatever it is he is doing, it works exceptionally well. The tracks, twelve unique cuts interwoven on Gridlock, are indeed worth investigating.
Joining Rene' on Gridlock are the following; Mike Garson (D. Bowie, Smashing Pumpkins), Lene Lovich, David Jackson (VDGG, P. Gabriel), John Ellis (The Vibrators, The Stranglers, P. Gabriel, P. Hammill), Judge Smith (VDGG), Hugh Banton (VDGG), Stuart Gordon (P. Hammill, P. Gabriel, Massive Attack), Ninca Leece, Willem Tanke, Martijn Alsters, Tammo Heikens, Dyane Donck (Daisy Bell), and Lisa Weiss. Each do a wonderful job of complimenting Mr. Commenée's performance.My first impression of Mr Averell's Gridlock was it played, each track, like a theatrical play. One where its acts are uplifting or sorrowful. In the music, I hear influences such as The B-52's, with hints of early Blondie, or Springsteen. The vocals are distinct. The recording itself contains sounds that can be annoying yet fit the presentation. Together I find it a unique listening experience that stays in the mind long after the disc has stopped playing.
I mentioned vocals. They are somewhat uncommon, in which I conclude the voice is yet another instrument which to create melody, yet stand separate, such as on the long carried note on "Rideehoo!!" Located at the very end of the composition. Turn the volume way up to appreciate. Like a Beatles hidden sound bite you finally notice after hearing whatever song with a pair of good headphones on. Then I immediately recommend turning the volume down again, or else be overwhelmed with a wall of sound next time played.
Track one, the introduction sound recording called "Lock" is forty one seconds of something that at first one may wish to dismiss, but I haven't yet. Then it's followed up by a song that I recommend getting rid of all mirrors beyond reach before listening to. For the power of suggestion is very strong. From that track, solid entertainment till the last note in which I already mentioned and spoke highly of. For reasons mainly because it snapped me to attention. Words that caught my imagination while getting my approval. Over all very likeable, and something that will grow on you with every listen.