Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come Music Album Reviews

Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come Music Album Reviews
Taking influence from the rock music of the early 1980s, the experimental guitarist settles into the role of a traditional frontman on a sharp, guest-heavy new record.

Like John Cale before him, guitarist and composer Chris Forsyth has evolved along a multifaceted trajectory, expanding his toolkit with each new record. Where his earlier albums relied on intricate, almost hallucinatory, instrumental explorations, 2019’s All Time Present redirected his electric improvisations into a more structured song-based format. All Time Present encapsulated Forsyth’s love for straightforward rock’n’roll, the logical continuation of his career-long journey from the noise folk of Peeesseye, through the technical art rock of his Solar Motel band, toward a new solo sound that felt equally at home in the studio or on stage.

On his latest album, Evolution Here We Come, Forsyth dials in his unique fusion of tightly constructed instrumental rock and the avant-garde. If All Time Present leaned on the swirling sounds of late 1960s and early ’70s psychedelia, Evolution Here We Come embraces the solid state distortion and lightly phased effects of the early ’80s. For these seven sharp, efficient tracks, Forsyth enlisted a band equipped to complement his vision: Tortoise’s Doug McCombs introduces the record with a pillowy, thumping bassline that’s quickly recontextualized by drummer Ryan Jewell. Sun Ra disciple and Philadelphia experimental music veteran Marshall Allen also appears, floating over the fray with electronic fragments reminiscent of his mentor’s Minimoog improvisations.

Co-produced by Darkside’s Dave Harrington, the album embraces an immersive, underwater sound that stands out in Forsyth’s catalog. His belief in the endless possibilities of his primary instrument remains consistent, and here, he collaborates with several guitarists who help expand his repertoire. Alongside Garcia Peoples’ Tom Malach, Bill Nace contributes a sizzling and buzzing accompaniment (listed in the credits as “Metal Machine Tashigoto”) on “Experimental & Professional,” while Nick Millevoi plays lap steel on a standout cover of Richard Thompson’s “You’re Going to Need Somebody.” Both guest performances feel like abstractions of Forsyth’s style on guitar, respectively tapping into the instrument’s noisier potential and its quieter, pastoral ambience.

The most daring appearance on the record, however, is Forsyth’s own turn as a frontman. On “You’re Going to Need Somebody,” he stands squarely and proudly in front of the microphone. Accompanied by husband-and-wife vocalists Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon, he summons ghosts of early ’80s Lou Reed or Tom Verlaine, artists whose work he has always been better at conjuring through his instrumental performances. Swapping their detached sneers for a warm, heartfelt tone, he gives his strongest vocal performance to date. As Forsyth ventures into new territory, he’s found a way to bring his influences along for the ride.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

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Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come Music Album Reviews Chris Forsyth - Evolution Here We Come Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on September 05, 2022 Rating: 5


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