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Purser/Deverill - Square One Award winner

Square One
by Kevin Burke at 03 December 2018, 4:27 AM

The duo of Jon Deverill and Fred Purser bring forth an album of intense musicianship and virtuosity. The ex-TYGERS OF PAN TANG team under the suitable name PURSER/DEVERILL are about to release an album which, by their own acceptance has been thirty-years in the making and yes, it has been a worthwhile wait, to explain the album is not an easy task, but, if you were to subtract the jazz from STEELY DAN and replace it with the experimental riffs of Robert Fripp it gets pretty close to what lies ahead.

“Square One” is a powerhouse of prog-rock, sophisticated though highly accessible, it switches effortlessly from flourishes of grandeur to balls-out pumping rock, and we are definitely thrown into the release of the year territory. The title track “Square One” is a good introduction, opening with a wave of synth switching gear under a drum attack by Jeff Armstrong and solid guitar layers. Jon Deverill is in fine voice in front of the collage of sound constructed by the multi-instrumentalist Fred Purser who has definitely thrown his very soul into this beast. As “Hypnotise” starts with a quality of “Moving Pictures”-era RUSH, defined by a memorable, sing-along chorus, the solo by Purser is reminiscent of David Gilmour, dominating and crying but never overwhelming the overall sound.

On “Travel The World” Fred Purser is in progressive rock mode, whereas “Beat Them Join Them” is stuck in an eighties time-warp, with a pulsing drum, synth and bass intro, the song chugs along with the reflective lyrics asking question after question until the ultimate chorus of giving in and acceptance begins; “When are you going to come to your senses? When are you going to earn a wage?” A twisting cosmic-blues erupts in “Make It True”, a song which glides along the clouds effortlessly, demonstrating the command and passion Purser has for his guitar-work, in a turnaround a cabaret-style piano opens “Darkest Cloud”, the song builds slowly with intensity as all instruments come into the fold, the melody-heavy track is one of the more interesting moments on the album.

The fantastic cavalcade of sound closing the album “Apocalypse Then” is a breathtaking instrumental, all the while a mesh of synth tones quell all around the listener, firing colors of sound in every direction as it climaxes to the sound of rain and thunder. The needle of weak-points in this haystack of perfection is almost impossible to pinpoint, the flow of the album is flawless built to be absorbed by the listener, you cannot help wondering how these will translate on a live stage which is something we will hopefully see over the coming year.

Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Square One
2. Hypnotise
3. Travel The World
4. Beat Them Join Them
5. Make It True
6. With You
7. Factor X
8. Captured In Freefall – Lost In Space
9. Darkest Cloud
10. Apocalypse Then
Jon Deverill - Vocals
Jeff Armstrong - Drums, Percussion
Fred Purser - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Production
Record Label: Mighty Music


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