Prog Round-up: June 2015
Geoff Barton on new releases from Davy O’List, Driftglass, Telesma, SoundDiary and M-Opus
Davy O’List: Second Thoughts
Renowned prog eccentric Davy O’List is best known for being the founding guitarist of The Nice. But I’ll always remember him as a member of avant-garde glam-rock combo Jet. A very bizarre mid-70s interview with O’List and Jet bandmate Andy Ellison (later of Radio Stars) still haunts me to this day.
Second Thoughts, O’List’s first solo album since 1997’s Flight Of The Eagle, is a topsy-turvy amalgam of rock, pop, funk, jazz, classical music and... oh yes, more than a hint of madness. Key to its appeal is O’List’s guitar tone, surely the best in western civilisation. Crisp, gritty and rending, when his hitherto restrained six-string explodes into life midway through the title track, it’s a full-on batten-down-the-hatches moment.
Elsewhere, The Emperor is a boggling mishmash of Blackmore’s Night and Tarkus; Bonnie K is a raw reimagination of The Nice original; To The Stars is more cracked than a UFO spotter’s binoculars. Epic closing track Halfway To Heaven has backing vocals by a gurgling baby, by which time nothing surprises you. (8/10)