This is the debut solo release from Jargon (who provides vocals, keyboards, and piano), the lead singer from Greek band Verbal Delirium. He has been joined on the album by Nikitas Kissonas (guitars), Leonidas Petropoulos (bass) and Verbal Delirium drummer Wil Bow. Another very important part of the album is the use of a string quartet, whose music was arranged by Kissonas who is also ex-Verbal Delirium but who I will always think of as Methexis, whose debut album ‘The Fall Of Bliss’ I reviewed some 12 years ago (and I note Jargon provided piano on one track). This is very much a singer’s album, a songwriter’s album, based primarily around the piano. Sung in English, the album revolves around Jargon and there are times when he is the only player involved, or just with strings to accompany him. There is no need for the band to all be involved, and the result is an album which has room to grow and develop.
There are times when it is incredibly layered, others when it is quite simple, so much so that one never really knows what is going to happen next. Bow is happy to provide rim shots as much as simple snare, often playing more in a jazz fashion than normal rock, while Petropoulos has a strong approach which keeps it all tied together. This allows Kissonas to do whatever he likes, which even could be nothing at all, or providing string riffs or solo. Even the use of electric piano at some points does not come across as twee, but rather something which is being used for a particular sound. The use of a real string quartet as opposed to using synths definitely provides more depth and breadth, allowing for more force and presence to be deployed.
Strong vocals, rough and anguished at some point, delicate and almost playful at others, centre the album. The band I kept being reminded of this is Discipline, as there is something about this which really makes one think of Matthew Parmenter, although possibly with even more piano. It is theatrical, passionate, emotional, and one of the best albums I have heard from Greece in some time. Jargon may not be a name known to many but based on this album that will soon change.
- Kev Rowland | 8/10