South African blues-rock guitarist Dan Patlansky has been prolific since his debut album ‘Standing At The Station’ was released in the early part of the noughties. With each album, Patlansky has made more of an impression in what is quite a saturated scene at the minute. Patlansky has seen his stock rise in the UK thanks to some incendiary live shows (as both an opening act and a headliner), and his last couple of studio albums ‘Dear Silence Thieves’ and ‘Introvertigo’ gained strong reviews. Album number nine, ‘Perfection Kills’, has less of a polished sound than predecessor ‘Introvertigo’. Patlansky self-produced this one, and succeeds in his desire to make it more organic. As the title says, ‘Perfection Kills’, so if it sounds a bit more rough around the edges, then so be it. It’s also got a bit of a ‘live’ vibe going on, especially on tracks like the slow burning ‘Judge A Man’, which sounds like it came from an improvised jam. One that will sound different each time it’s played live.
‘Perfection Kills’ is a stunning album of variety and diversity, with plenty of barnstorming blues-rock moments, like first single ‘Dog Day’, which has a great throaty vocal from Patlansky, or the opener ‘Johnny’, or the scorching ‘Too Far Gone’, which features a stunning Hendrix-y guitar sound in the background. The Stevie Wonder groove throughout ‘iEyes’ is delicious; the cautionary tale of not looking up from whatever screen we are glued to is one most of us should heed. Then we have softer vibes on tracks such as ‘Never Long Enough’, the hypnotic ‘Mayday’, the cool island life swing of ‘Shake The Cage’ and the personal, heartfelt ‘My Dear Boy’. The common denominator is the staggering playing from Dan Patlansky. Anyone who has caught him live will have waxed lyrical about his prowess. Joe Satriani doesn’t choose just anyone to open for him. Satch chose someone who could not only wow the crowd, but also give him a run for his money. Satriani had to be mindful of going on after Patlansky, but then again he is Joe Satriani, so he always has an extra gear or three.
I’m also certain that King King and Joanne Shaw Taylor both raised their game after watching the South African wring every emotion known to man out of his Strat. Today, people still talk about Patlansky’s solos during the massive homecoming gig that King King played in Glasgow 2016. Even to a layman, that was something special. There are so many different textures and tones throughout ‘Perfection Kills’, but when he turns on the fuzz during ‘Too Far Gone’, the results are truly hair-raising. Likewise, the Clapton-esque riffs and fills on ‘Never Long Enough’ could give Jason Statham and Bruce Willis an instant fro. The band that Patlansky has assembled for the album are top notch. Bassist Clint Falconer, drummer Andy Maritz, and Dean Barrett on the keyboards all contribute massively… the keyboard sound, in particular, is crucial to the overall tone of much of the album. Good work, fellas.
Available February 2nd, Dan Patlansky is on tour during March 2018, all tour dates can be found here.