Have ever walked into a room and wondered if you’ve missed half of the party already and don’t quite understand the thread of most of the current swathe of conversation? Well, that’s how I feel because I’ve arrived late at the Dan Patlansky soiree. I looked around the Internet regarding our Dan and his name is all over the place. The South African blues/rock guitar man has already had a long career, he has been the support act for Joe Satriani’s last 25 dates of this European Tour. His last album was Dear Silence Thieves while before that, 20 Stones was well received…that kind of thing. It’s generally thought not to be cool for a music journalist to approach an artist, scratch his head and declare, “Er, who are you then?” We’re supposed to know everyone. Music journalists are supposed to have a full appreciation of every music talent before they began breast feeding. But, hey, what can I say?
Hence, this review is different because I have no Patlansky references. I have never seen him play and this is the first time I have heard his music. On the plus side: I have no preconceptions, no bias and certainly no connection with Patlansky.
Maybe that’s why I was rather surprised, upon hearing the first track Run, to be lifted off the floor six inches and thrown against the rear wall of my listening room, only to recover consciousness towards the middle of the track. I read Patlansky’s name in conjunction with Joe Bonammasa of late but no. Really, no, no, no. Our Dan is much more rock oriented. His aim is loud. That’s where he lives. The Planet Loud, which orbits the Riff Galaxy, I believe. This man powers his way through each track on this album but don’t think you’ve got a demented thrash man behind the microphone.
Patlansky pays attention to detail when he plays guitar. His style is quite articulate and his finger picking talents are plain and on view. In fact you could write down each note on a piece of paper as he plays them. Such is his attention to detail. His vocal style is a textural too. For example, on Sonavva Faith, Patlansky’s delivery is intense yet lucid and articulate while driving his lyrics with energy. In many ways, the album reminds me of classic, 70s hard rock and, as such, will be a nostalgic boon to anyone who loves the music from those pioneering times. That includes the early 80s NWOBHM scene in the UK (e.g. Saxon et al).
The vinyl itself has been well pressed while the music, while not compressed or ‘loud’ in any damaging way, has been mastered to the edge of the red line, giving it punch and impact.
Right, so…that’s who he is then.