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Nightjar, reviewed by The Big Takeover Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 March 2009
Originally published at
Though best known as one of the axe-slingers for the great Australian band THE CHURCH, tenures with THE SAINTS and ALL ABOUT EVE and his ongoing side project NOCTORUM, MARTY WILLSON-PIPER has quietly but firmly established an enchanting solo career. Produced by his Noctorum bandmate DARE MASON, Nightjar is Willson-Piper’s sixth album, and it’s a low-key gem. Taking the role of romantic-but-philosophical troubadour, Willson-Piper carefully weaves acoustic and electric guitars into a gauzy web of acid-washed folk rock, singing in a woodgrain croon. “Songs For Victor Jara” and “I Must Have Fallen” quietly flow like water in a tranquil lake, while “Feed Your Mind” and “A Game For Losers” add some country pep without waking the neighbors. “High Down Below” and “The Sniper” build up heads of rock steam, but the auteur mostly keeps the tracks on the gentle side, with little of his primary band’s penchant for vibrant drama. Aided by subtle rhythm, piano and, on the wistful ballad “The Love You Never Had,” pedal steel, Willson-Piper casts a gently graceful spell on Nightjar that lingers like the smell of a scented candle.
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