CD Title: Radio Silence
Label: Independent Release (2015)
Rating: Satisfying 3/5
South Carolina based singer/songwriter Dale Simmons has delivered his first album and it is reminiscent of some very catchy prog riffs. Having recruited two former members of Porcupine Tree would make you think the whole album might have a familiar ring to it, and yet it’s only the first song “Stolen Wings” [9:17] that bears a distinctly PT feel or vibe. The other songs build on different influences; some of them harder edged some of them hinting of the blues and some of them a little more spacey. The one thing you will notice is Simmons’ fondness for Dave Gilmour in his guitar style. Throughout the album are the same kind of sustained sinewy notes Pink Floyd fans will be very familiar with. However when packaged up in these six compositions, three of which are about nine-minutes and three of which are about five, take on a very original feel. Songs will go through a number of stylistic permutations but usually start softer and then build or change into heavier segments. These are more than anything, longer complicated songs that are then embellished in many different ways to push them into an undeniably prog arena. The songs have a big sound, where grand melodic choruses slide into spacey fluid guitar segments and then back into more bombastic sections. Only one of the tunes pushes the heavy-button to excess and that’s “Seeker’s Prayer” [9:34] which starts out all spacey with electronics and soft guitar lines but then at the half way point becomes a full on assault of screaming vocals. In some way its stands out oddly from the rest of the album which takes a more measured approach to building intensity. So one song aside, there is much to recommend on Radio Silence. My guess is that fans of the Porcupine Tree style will find much to enjoy listening to Exovex.