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John Wesley: Disconnect

Album Review

Guitar star sidles convincingly centre-stage.

John Wesley is among the very few musicians equally entrusted by both sides of the Fish-Marillion divide, though despite having released five of his own full-length albums between 1994 and 2005, and also helped out Sound Of Contact during a recent batch of live dates, the Floridian is probably best known as a long-term touring guitarist for both Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson.

After rediscovering his mojo a year ago, an underrated talent has stepped back out from the shadows. Disconnect is very much a guitarist’s album, though its creator rarely resorts to mere widdling. There’s a real substance to the likes of Any Old Saint and Take What You Need; personal songs with real dirt under their fingernails. 

Alex Lifeson from Rush also contributes a majestic guitar solo to one of the album’s weightiest yet most memorable tunes, Once A Warrior. Indeed, last issue Wesley proposed the notion that the album has ‘a Rush vibe’. 

With its references to booze, sweat, drowning and greed, it’s patently the handiwork of a man who’s lived a bit. More than just a gun for hire, John Wesley craves a little of your time. On this evidence, he’s been hiding away for too long.

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