Most progressive music fans will recognize guitarist John Wesley from his work as touring member with Porcupine Tree over the last several albums. Yet, Wesley also has an extensive solo collection as well, and he expands it with his sixth album, Disconnect.
The album is defined by one singular element, Wesley's guitar playing. Disconnect is definitely a guitar driven prog record. His playing evokes the styles of David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, Steve Wilson, and maybe even some Jeff Beck. (Lifeson guests on Once A Warrior.) Wesley's sound on many songs is generally sharp and high-pitched as with Once A Warrior, sometimes sounding psychedelic as within Disconnect, and then kinetic, yet muted, within Take What You Need.
There's a lot of weight to many songs as well, definitely tipping the album towards progressive metal. When a song does appear to be somewhat lighter at the start, like Gets You Everytime or Mary Will, Wesley jumps in with those slashing guitar licks to slice your ears into tiny little pieces, like stir fry vegetables. If there is a drawback to the album at all, it's that the slashing sharpness of the guitar is pervasive and can get more than a little shrill at times. But there are some lighter pieces here, namely Window and more so Satellite, where Wesley dials up some acoustic guitar in the mix.
Briefly, the other significant element here is Wesley's vocals. He has a great melodic voice, emotive and passionate at times, and definitely pleasing. With guitar in hand, a strong voice, and creative compositions, John Wesley has delivered another fine album with Disconnect. Easily recommended.
With guitar in hand, a strong voice, and creative compositions, John Wesley has delivered another fine album with Disconnect. Easily recommended.
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