Niall Mathewson: Eclectic Electric Volume 1

The Pallas man’s collection of curios just keeps on giving.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Guitarist Niall Mathewson has been an integral element of Pallas for more than 30 years, and with his first solo outing he serves up a little treasure trove of diverse songs and instrumental tracks taken from years of writing for the band, for himself and for commercial projects.

Almost everything is played, sung or programmed by Mathewson himself here, with a smattering of contributors such as blues singer Gerry Jablonski, who takes the lead vocal on straight-ahead rocker One Step On. Mathewson explores a range of guitar sounds and styles – his riffing is frenetic on Creep, then he turns to slide guitar and lyrical Gilmour-esque soloing on Undiscovered Land. His self-confessed interest in cinematic work can be heard on The Last Horizon, the haunting Mortis (all the sounds for which were created on guitar) and the equally eerie Harry Potter-esque musical box lilt of The Girl In The Attic. Directors and producers take note – Mathewson is willing and able. An album of real variety, Eclectic Electric Volume 1 reveals an artist who has wide-ranging musical interests and a depth of talent and creativity which goes beyond his day job. Roll on Volume 2, we say.

Gary Mackenzie

Gary has contributed reviews and news features for Prog Magazine for over a decade now. A fan of prog and heavy rock since childhood, his main areas of interest are classic and symphonic prog, prog-metal and modern acts bringing in fresh influences to the genre. He has a professional background in youth and community work, he teaches drum kit in schools and is a working musician. Gary was the drummer in semi-legendary NWOBHM band Praying Mantis for a couple of years and has been a member of indie-prog-pop-art-rock combo The Mighty Handful for more than twenty years. He loves cats and skiing, and has a Blue Peter badge.