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Mecca: Undeniable

Dawdling pays dividends for US wimp-rockers.

Mecca’s self-titled debut arrived with little fanfare in 2002. An instant cult favourite, it saw founder Joe Vana colluding with former Toto members Fergie Frederiksen on vocals and David Hungate on bass, plus ex-Survivor songsmith Jim Peterik. But no sooner had the melodic community savoured its post-coital cigarette than Mecca vanished once more.

Due in part to the demise of Vana’s co-producer Bryan Mitchell, this follow-up has been six long years in the making.

Many of its songs were co-written by the ubiquitous Swedish guitarist Tommy Denander, and with noted sessioneers Pat Mastelotto (King Crimson, Mr Mister drummer) and Tony Levin (bassist of King Crimson and Peter Gabriel) augmenting an already ridiculously over-qualified cast of musicians, the results speak for themselves.

Mastelotto’s participation will inevitably encourage comparisons to Mr Mister, but for all of the album’s undoubted slickness its material never succumbs to being over-sanitised.

This is almost flawless.