Do you remember Bill Forsyth’s wonderful, whimsical 80s movie Local Hero? If so, you’ll surely recall Mark Knopfler’s timeless music. And if you do, then this album will make sense.
The latest offering from this enduring British prog outfit could easily be used as the soundtrack for a similar feelgood, Celtic-flavoured film or TV series, and that’s not to suggest for a moment that this isn’t enjoyable and fulfilling in its own right. Having reconvened after a long hiatus in 2006, the band have strived to bring new influences and ideas to their neo brand of prog. The PledgeMusic campaign for their latest album earned them 129 per cent of the target amount, and its charm will reward those who contributed in spades. Abel Ganz offers a pleasing combination of folk and Celtic ideas, and these work best when allowed to roam free, as on the exhaustive The Drowning and Thank You, which features notable guest appearances from Fotheringay/Fairport guitar hero Jerry Donahue and Runrig’s Malcolm Jones. Here you can hear the distinctive musicianship that helped give the band a cult following when they first broke on the scene in the early 80s (they’re now without original member Hew Montgomery). The five-part suite Obsolescence wouldn’t sound amiss on a good 70s TV show. Like the album as a whole, it has bags of appeal.
Via Abel Records