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John Wesley - Chasing Monsters CD (album) cover

CHASING MONSTERS

John Wesley

 

Crossover Prog

2.70 | 18 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Chasing Monsters is a solid crossover album with soulful songs, dark grooves, layers of electric guitar, and John Wesley's distinct vocals. If you're unfamiliar with Wesley (you probably are... this album has very few reviews!), he's known mostly to prog fans as a frequent Porcupine Tree collaborator. That being said, this is definitely a distinct work that while lacking the depth of a PT release, has plenty of the same sophistication and grace.

Chasing Monsters is a diverse collection of mostly melancholy and guitar heavy songs that combine Wesley's talents as singer/songwriter/guitarist. He isn't a master at any one of these roles, but is exceptionally good at all of them. The songs in this album are sometimes noisy, sometimes delicate, sometimes uplifting, and sometimes lamentful. They're not prog or art rock in the pure sense but are performed with a lot of class that will appeal to many listeners as a more straightforward rock release.

Wesley's voice is a soulful, bluesy croon in an upper register that is unique and enjoyable. His guitar playing, while somewhat messy, feels very real and raw, complementing the tone of these songs. His treatment of rhythm guitars can create a lush density to the songs as well. Lyrically we're given a lot of metaphors for the human experience, sometimes set to genuinely good hooks and melodies.

The songwriting is at times generic which may grate on some prog fans' ears, but Wesley at his most bland is still head and shoulders above the kind of over-produced schlock you'll hear on contemporary radio.

So overall an enjoyable art-rock diversion from a solid singer/songwriter/guitarist. This is not Wesley's best album, but it's reliably enjoyable and should be investigated for those seeking something light yet artistic.

Songwriting: 2 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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