They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but when I held in my hand the latest offering from South African born guitar virtuoso Dan Patlansky “Introvertigo” the artwork just resonated with me. Like Storm Thorgerson and his work with the greats such as Pink Floyd & Audioslave it makes a statement – An “Ignore this album at your peril” statement.
“Introvertigo” is Patlansky’s 8th studio album to date and a follow up to the critically acclaimed 2014 release “Dear Silent Thieves”, Patlansky may not be a household name just yet but with each album release he is signalling his intent and gaining notoriety and respect Rightly so too.
With the first six beats of the drum on the introduction to “Run” the albums opener, you already know there is a real intent with this album. Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang and there it is…. A dirty crunching rhythm on his guitar that makes the hairs on your arms stand on end and you know you’re sold already. Then comes the solo and that Wha Wha pedal screaming out note after note with this gorgeous tone. You can hear his heart and soul going into that solo fighting with the guitar like he’s trying to tame a wild beast. It’s the perfect introduction to this album and if you’re new to Patlanksy, an even better introduction to your new best friend.
Track two “Poor Old John” takes you a different direction, a more bluesy SRV inspired number and a total homage to the man during the solo with SRV titbits on show without any shame at all. Patlansky I have to say, is the guitarist who, especially on this album, has made me think of Stevie Ray more than most. He’s like a modern day reincarnation in style and tone and by no means trying to plagiarise he has simply taken the mark that the great SRV left with us, embraced it and given it a modern twist.
“Sonnova Faith”, track three, again hits you right in the face with a big big rhythm and again it is addictive – Patlansky’s songwriting is strong and purposeful, melodic and effective. There is no bullshit here, again the solo short and sweet and right on the mark and that’s a theme throughout. No overplaying no crazy showmanship or trying to prove anything the songs simply speak for themselves.
“Loosen Up The grip” slows the pace down a little and again fits beautifully against the background of the album overall as does “Heartbeat” warming you back up for the faster melodic “Stop the messin’”, I have to say there is something really familiar and comforting about Patlansky’s songwriting. I can’t quite put my finger on why that is, maybe it’s a subliminal thing, I can hear a plethora of guitar players in his playing and that’s no bad thing. It’s a treat to the ears especially when executed so well.
Hendrix is written all over “Bet on me”. Again that tone is sublime. I can just imagine it live when he hits the UK later this year supporting King King, May 2016 playing dates between the 12th to the 21st. Get out and see this guy live and capture a moment when you can look back and say you were there !!!
“Still Wanna Be Your Man” takes us back down a little, and I say a little, with another SRV inspired tune akin to ” Tin Pan Alley” with its lazy pace reeling us in trying to lure you into a false sense of security about where this song is going to take you… and of course it’s right to that solo – Have I mentioned that tone??? The solo is a crescendo of runs and bends and licks to bring a smile to even the hardest of faces.
“Western Decay” is an uptempo and upbeat sounding tune about the decline of western society before the album closing with again another huge sounding rhythm with “Queen Puree”. It’s a head turner of a song with a blistering solo and perfect ending to what I have to say is a great great album.
“Introvertigo” is powerfully strong. It appeals on so many levels and it surely will help propel Patlansky further yet again and deservedly so. An album full of big tunes, melodic and technically proficient to keep everybody happy from the hardcore blues fanatics right through to the rock enthusiasts who want something to get their teeth into. Short and sweet but totally effective.
Dan Patlansky is a name everyone should get to know. His latest release deserves its place in your collection alongside the modern day greats. If you love your Bonamassa, Mayer, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lang and of course Hendrix & SRV you are in for a treat. It’s no wonder he has been coveted by the likes of Joe Satriani to support his 2015 UK Tour and now King King this May. “Introvertigo ” Is released May 6th and it’s setup to be a modern day classic.
Words by Mark McGrogan
Poor Old John
Loosen Up The Grip
Stop The Messin’
Bet On Me
Still Wanna Be Your Man