Power of Metal.dk Review

John Wesley
Style: Progressive Rock
Release date: 31 March, 2014
Playing time: 51:33

Every once in a while, an album simply doesn't connect with me. Ironically, the album this time is called "Disconnect" by John Wesley. Wesley has a long history in progressive music, being attached to Fish and Porcupine Tree at various times. His multi- instrumentalist capabilities have taken him far. However, here he is with his sixth solo offering, and he has a full band behind him.

Being an excellent guitarist, "Disconnect" is really a guitarist's album. Guitar is front and centre, to a fault, I believe. Indeed, Alex Lifeson even guests on guitar for one of the tracks, "Once a Warrior". So, if you love guitar, this might be your thing. I'm rather disappointed, though, as I find that every thing else about this album is completely average or worse. Drums, bass. and even vocals are all humdrum and uninteresting. And don't get me started on the lyrics, which, for the lyric enthusiast, are not worth your time.

Yet, I can complain about the rest of the instruments on this album, but I think the major problem is the horrible mix and the domination of the guitar. For whatever reason, I cannot stand the guitar tone on this record. It literally gives me a headache, even on low volumes. It's steel-hard, loud, and bombastic. It completely masks the rest of the instruments to the point where the band never really feels like a band, but instead seems like background musicians keeping time for the guitarists to bore us to death. Solos go on and on forever without ever having an ounce of soul or emotion. Technical feats come and go without anything truly interesting ever happening. Indeed, most songs sound the same: lame attempt at a verse and chorus followed by a few minutes of guitar drudgery. Rinse. Repeat.

Indeed, ever since I saw the weirdly sexual music video for "Disconnect", I knew this album would never pan out for me, and I was correct. I tried, but I can't get past the boring songs, the pretentious guitar work (especially on "Any Old Saint"), and the aura of arrogance that I can't seem to shake. Rough, blasting guitars mean nothing when the artist can't seem to give them any meaning within a song structure. Indeed, it's difficult to base all your writing on guitar without paying attention to the other instruments, melody, and rhythm. In the end, this album feels like one big set-up for John and company to show off on guitar. You know what, though? The guitar never really impresses anyways. Overall, "Disconnect" is a disappointment and a failure.

01. Disconnect
02. Any Old Saint
03. Once a Warrior
04. Window
05. Gets You Every-time
06. Mary Will
07. Take What You Need
08. How Goes the War
09. New Life Old Sweat
Label: InsideOut Music
Distribution: EMI (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 50/100
Reviewed by: Jason Spencer
Date: 17, April 2014
Website: www.john-wesley.com