The first time I encountered the name Dave Kerzner was at the time he was in the band Giraffe together with the late Kevin Gilbert and Nick D’Virgilio ... performing the classic Genesis album “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway”. That was a long time ago. Over the years Dave Kerzner worked with artists like Steve Hackett, Keith Emerson, Alan Parsons, Jon Anderson and Steven Wilson ... just to name a few. In the year 2009 he was the driving force behind Sounds of Contact the band of Simon Collins. Together they made an excellent album entitled “Dimensionaut”. His debut solo album “New World” was released both a standard 1 CD and deluxe 2 CD version as well as a live album. The excellent “New World” album got some rave reviews from the press. Now Dave Kerzner is back with a second studio album called “Static”.
Dave Kerzner - lead and backing vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar; Fernando Perdomo - guitar, bass, drums, backing vocals; Randy McStine - guitar and FX, backing vocals; Derek Cintron - drums; Durga McBroom - backing vocals; Lorelei McBroom - backing vocals; Matt Dorsey - backing vocals; Colin Edwin - bass; Nick Mason - drums (by Sonic Reality, recorded by Alan Parsons); Ewa Karolina Lewowska - backing vocals; Chris Johnson - guitar; Stuart Fletcher - bass; Alex Cromarty - drums; Ruti Celli - cello; Steve Hackett - guitar; Nick D’Virgilio - drums
“Static” is a progressive rock opera about the clutter and chaos in modern everyday life. It boldly navigates through subjects ranging from noise in our heads of Ego, jealousy, technological distractions, substance abuse and narcissism to profiling the hypocritical and corrupt characters in politics, media and society today. Well that’s something ... heavy stuff ... but this is the world we live in today. What about the music? His previous album “New World” had a light Genesis and Pink Floyd flavor. With the above mentioned themes it is not very surprising that “Static” sounds more heavy and dark than the “New World” album. You can hear this in the opening song Hypocrites” that is preceded by a short “Prelude”.
Like on his predecessor you can find several interesting special guests n this album. To name a few, what about Steve Hackett (ex Genesis), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Nick D’Virgilio (Big Big Train) and Colin Edwin (Porcupine Tree). This in addition to his core group consisting of guitarists Fernando Perdomo and Randy McStine, Matt Dorsey (Sounds Of Contact) and drummer Derek Cintron.
The title track “Static” is more in the vein of “New World”. You can find beautiful vocal melodies in this wonderful track. For me it is one of the highlights of this album. The instrumentation is delicate and very tasteful. No freaky or over the top stuff here. In “Reckless” you will find some of that freaky guitar stuff besides great drumming parts by Derek Cintron. After the uptempo song “Chain Reaction” with it’s catchy vocal refrains the song “Trust” is one of those beautiful songs with delicate piano work and lovely vocal melodies. “Dirty Soap Box” is musically speaking on the other side of the spectrum with heavy and dirty grooves. A song with a bite and a great guitar solo of maestro Steve Hackett. Mr. Hackett brings this song to a higher level. On this track Nick D’Virgilio is playing the drums.
This is followed by the song “The Truth Behind” in which I hear in the vocal section a mix of Electric Light Orchestra and Pink Floyd influences. Talking about the vocals on this album, the name of The Beatles will also cross your mind. “The Truth Behind” slowly works towards a kind of climax before a delicate piano ends the song. After the short “Right Back To The Start” you can find a lovely synth part in the brooding track “Statistic”. “Millennium Man” is a melting pot of rock influences. “State of Innocence” is more my thing. It is a ballad like song with lovely vocals and fine melodies. Love the integration with the electric cello of Ruti Celli. The album closes with the epic “The Carnival Of Modern Life”. In this track with a duration of almost 17 minutes it all comes together. Progressive rock with theatrical singing and some psychedelic influences. Halfway the track you can enjoy a wonderful synth solo played by Dave Kerzner himself. After the hectic opening and the synth solo the music becomes more relaxed and melodic. A long piece of music that has the so needed diversity. It is a worthy ending of a fine progressive rock release.
“Static” is darker and heavier than it’s predecessor “New World”. Only after several spins in your CD player will “Static” reveal it’s true beauty. So you will have to take your time for this one. If you do, you won’t be disappointed. Highly recommended by progVisions.