[Release date 27.05.16]
The second solo album from Panic Room and Steve Rothery Band guitarist Dave Foster is a remarkably different beast from his excellent debut (Gravity, 2011). While the former was a showcase for his ability to deliver a comprehensive variety of guitar styles – and as a consequence sometimes felt like a collection of disparate, and for the most part instrumental, numbers Dreamless has a distinctly homogenous ‘band’ orientated feel.
Dinet Poortman steps forward from his debut to continue her lead vocal role on the majority of tracks, with Panic Room colleagues Anne-Marie Helder stepping in for two, Yatim Halimi playing most of the bass parts, and Jonathan Edwards providing piano on a couple of numbers. Other notable contributions include Mr So & So bandmates drummer Stuart Browne and singer Charlotte Evans on backing vocals, and Steve Rothery making a guest appearance on ‘Ache’.
Poortman’s role is fairly central to Dreamless, and coming more from the vocal school of Shirley Manson and Dolores O’Riodran she makes a welcome change from the androgynous ethereal style deployed by many contemporary female fronted prog bands. It fits particularly well with the opening pairing of ‘Cabello’ and ‘Amitriptyline’ – both dark and broody numbers with the latter laden with bludgeoning intent.
‘New York Rain’ offers a more conventional shimmering ‘pop’ delivery, Poortman’s vocals again impressing, with Jon Edwards adding some delicate piano touches and Foster delivering some lovely – all to brief – fade out bluesy guitar lines.
‘Black Sunrise’, one of the album highlights, simmers and boils with restrained power equal to that of Sabbath, with some suitably unrestrained axe wielding which, if Foster were ever to take the album on the road, is a sure crowd pleaser.
‘Lingering’ and ‘You Have No New Messages’ are almost folk, Poortman’s vocals again lending themselves well to the material, while the title track – a powerful slow burner – echoes Gilmour/Floyd, particularly in Foster’s vocals and those of backing vocalists Charlotte Evans and Sara Vernengo.
Steve Rothery and ex-Reasoning bassist Matthew Cohen step into the breach for another smouldering humdinger – ‘Ache’, with some blistering lead guitar work the perfect counterpoint to some particularly effective vocals shared by Foster and Poortman.
Poortman exits at this point Anne-Marie Helder taking over vocal duties for ‘Brahma’ and ‘Counting Clouds’. The former is another broody piece that builds to an incendiary crescendo, while the latter is a gentle, almost soft rock piece accentuated by Jon Edwards’ subtle piano lines underpinning Foster and Helder’s traded vocals.
The album closes out with ‘Morphine Sleep’ – a number performed entirely by Foster with experimental ambience bookending a central, typically Gilmour style mid-section. It’s a fitting end to what never really sounds like a ‘solo’ album. In many ways Dreamless is the album a younger David Gilmour might have made rather than the more recent, somewhat lim, Rattle That Lock. ****1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.
How to Listen Live?
Click the programming image at the top of the page (top right of page if using desktop)
Get Ready to ROCK! Radio is also in iTunes under Internet Radio/Classic Rock
Listen in via the Tunein app and search for “Get Ready to ROCK!” and save as favourite.
More information and links at our radio website where you can listen again to shows via the presenter pages: getreadytorockradio.com
Featured Albums w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 TAO Prophecy (Tarot Label Media)
12:00-13:00 LEVERAGE Above The Beyond (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JOE TILSTON Tightrope (Our Records)
Power Plays w/c 18 October 2021 (Mon-Fri)
ABOVE SNAKES Nothing To Lose (indie)
FRANKIE AND THE WITCH FINGERS Cookin’ (Greenway Records)
LEADFINGER The Fall Of Rome (Golden Robot)
FEMEGADES Stealing Numbers (Regent Street Records)
TIGERSIDE Any Contact (indie)
INDYA Love Like Champagne (indie)
EDGE OF DESTINY Forsaken (indie)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!