Singer and multi-instrumentalist John Bassett, leader of underground progressive rock band KingBathmat, goes pastoral on his solo album Unearth. Playing guitars, bass, keyboards, Theremin and drums (with Nathan A Summers lending a hand) Bassett carefully his constructed his songs, double tracking his vocals and acting as his own backing vocalist. It's a contemplative album musically, but the lyrics deal withe sterner stuff such as exploring the dark side of family life (Survival Rate and criticizing passing fads (TV is God, with great bottleneck solo).
Bassett has a warm voice that flow well with the old school prog keyboard flourishes. It's tempting to pigeonhole him as a devoted follower of the late Sixties/early Seventies Pink Floyd (there is actually birdsong in Keep Dear). But there;s also quite a bit of Fairport Convention and Nick Drake's overlooked album Bryter Layter. However, Bassett is more down to earth lyrically - a modern day minstrel who doesn't shun harsh truths. Unearth proofs that the UK is still the go-to country for acoustic progressive rock.
Unearth is released om Stereohead Records. Release date: March 31.Tracks:
- Stay Away From The Dark
- Survival Rate
- Nothing Sacred
- TV Is God
- Keep Dear
- Something That's More Worthwhile