Raw, authentic hot guitar like molten fire pouring around the mould created by lyrics that captivate. No-one needs to seek perfection under the aural hug of Dan Patlansky’s latest album Perfection Kills. Following on from a pair of critically acclaimed albums Dear Silence Thieves & Introvertigo; Dan needs no introduction. We have come to expect a guitar sound that stings and vocals that are a beguiling mix of melodic rock and deep down dirty as the vocals are spat out or become a melodic ballad. Then there is the third element, those deep dark slow blues that melt the Strat’s six-strings. If Perfection Kills as Dan suggests I say throw away the quest sit back and let the latest album wash away the day’s demands with the tracks that will delight from the first to the last note.
The opening phrasing of Johnny is gently melodic building with a crescendo that announces the mighty guitar of Dan Patlansky in the room. Followed by our first hit of vocals spat out by Dan’s distinctive vocalization, gruff, clear and melodic always in total control. Dan controls the number by stunning licks and vocals that just demand your attention. The first thing you notice is the warmth of tone it has a texture and tone that is vibrant, organic and a living being that Dan has shaped through his production of the album. Halfway through Johnny, the guitar is sharp stinging with Satriani inspired imploring as the six strings are made to sing with a melodic purity. Johnny’s challenging upbringing comes to the fore as the guitar tone and lyrical intensity ebbs and flows. Johnny has controlled volatility, summing up Dan’s amazing approach to Blues-Rock.
Like the last two albums, there is no title track, but a loose thematic flowing through the structure of the album. The theme being explored is our perpetual goal of finding perfection, in relationships, the work we do, and how we project ourselves through social media. As Dan says, Perfection Kills. The relentless pursuit of perfection always just around the next corner is slowly destroying the artistry within us all as humans. Captured in Never Long Enough; how time is catching up with us and the next departure is always too soon.
Slowing the tempo down with slow melodic blues. Mayday with the vocals softer, yearning drenched in a feeling of regret. We are on a whirligig of daily demands as the refrain of the title over and over. Building the tension, the rush, and then the guitar cools the frenzy down. Focusing on the important things in life love, anger and frustration spills over into the guitar on Too Far Gone. A despairing wildness in the delivery of the vocals. The question being asked can we turn the clock back and be more caring about the environment and can mankind be kinder, fairer and less stupid. The lead breaks have glimmers of hope with a cascade of notes combine with a harder edge questioning if we have any hope of taking this positive view. Once again guitar and vocals add tonal layering to the lyrics adding more this is music to be heard, enjoyed and listened to. Not analysis for perfection but gaining a clear understanding of the question the album asks from the album cover to the last notes of Dog Day.
On Introvertigo, there was Queen Puree to his daughter. Now we have a song for My Dear Boy – his son and allows him to imagine with freedom and a sense of positivity as he imagines the life of his dear boy. The lyrics sit on top of stinging guitar coloured electric blue as the strat delivers the notes that make this outpouring of love and hopefulness into a melodic song that will leave live audiences demanding more.
Unusually the first single from the album is the final track and Dog Day hard-edged rocking your socks off with its booming bass line and once again Dan is challenging the stress we create that is, in reality, a first world problem. Self-absorbing, making us run faster-seeking something that cannot be defined. Yes as Dan Patlansky says Perfection Kills defining the sound and approach on his latest album. Dan may say Perfection Kills – one thing for certain very track is a Killer and who cares about perfection? We love the tone, texture, feel and organic energy captured by voice and guitar that define Dan Patlansky on every track he plays. Blues that definitely rocks perfection of its pedestal.
Dan Patlansky Guitar and Vocals asks if Perfection Kills
TENdoodle paws out of TEN …
- Never Long Enough
- Too Far Gone
- Judge a Man
- Junket Man
- Shake The Cage
- My Dear Boy
- Dog Day
Dan Patlansky chatted to Liz about making the album, the repair on Old Red and more check out what was said:-