Chris Forsyth is a guitar virtuoso, but one who decides to use his powers for good, not evil. Which is to say that he avoids tedious technical showcases in favour of expansive, classic-feeling jams with his excellent Solar Motel Band. The Rarity of Experience Pts. I & II is released as a double CD and double LP on the No Quarter label.
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That rarest of things, an album Kim likes. I worry though as albums Kim likes usually have copious use of the saxophone. I’ve scanned the liner notes for any warning signs but as there only appears to sax on two tracks so I think its safe to proceed. What we get instead is some kind of elongated rock epic that sounds somewhere between the dusty lands of Allman Brothers, Neil Young and Scenic.
The album has a loose and raw feel where technical chops are defeated by a willingness to jam and improvise. The sprawling ‘Anthem II’ is like the Magic Band gone rock; Pell Mell-like inter twirling guitars and pounding energetic drums combine for a composition that will appeal to post-rock long hairs who like to see guitars played rather than bowed. There is no way I can get through this review without mentioning Neil Young’s ‘Everybody Knows This is Nowhere’ especially when vocals are added to the guitar pyrotechnics of ‘The Rarity of Experience Part 1’.
The album is split into two halves - part 1 rocks like a mutha, part 2 is more reflective and calming with delicious guitar evictions that sound like Vini Reilly jamming with the Dirty Three in the desert. Some delightful musical passages ensue and at times the whole thing sounds like Neil Young releasing ‘Everybody Knows’ and ‘Harvest’ as a single album then not singing very much over the top of it.
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- The Rarity of Experience Pts. I & II by Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band
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