Band: Gekko Project
Band Website: www.gekkoproject.com
Label: Progrock Records
Label Website: www.progrockrecords.com
Release Date: 2012
There is an expression…Go Big or Go Home…and in some ways that applies to the recent musical output of Peter Matuchniak. I recently reviewed his first solo CD, which came in the mail in the same package as what he referred to as his more proggy work with a band entitled The Gekko Project. As a quartet it’s Peter on Guitars, Vance Gloster of Keyboards, Rick Meadows on bass and Alan Smith on Drums. Electric Forest being a mostly instrumental set of tunes, these are musical pieces that allow for the focus to be on the musicianship.
The Gekko Project have created ten tunes, only three of which have vocals, covering some 41-minutes. Having just listened to Matuchniak’s early eighties prog work with the band Mach One I was struck by how distinctive his guitar style was then and continue to be today. As I listened to the music on Electric Forest I was reminded here and there of his early efforts. Calling this project, “the more proggy one” I can see where he would say that; one - it’s mostly instrumental and two - the focus is on the playing. Each member of this quartet is required to hold-up their end of the musical bargain and take their turn at the forefront. These ten tunes are not overly complex rather they flow from point A to B with little musical side-trips along way; a solo here and a solo there, a slight change in musical direction, a change in tempo, but nothing too radical. I’m reminded a lot of bands like mid-period Camel or the band Rousseau. That said the music is perhaps a little more varied, with some even reflecting a jazzier vibe.
This is very much a band effort but I must say much like the music on Matuchniak’s Uncover Me, Electric Forest will have some appeal to fans of Steve Hackett or Camel. The tunes are straight forward, nothing overly busy or complex instead they rely on a rock foundation that is embellished with proggy touches here and there. Electric Forest is a good introduction for the band’s first effort, and I hope as they spend more time together the music matures into something even more adventurous. Gekko Project is certainly worth checking out.