Label: ProgRock Rec. 2012
Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom
Gekko or no Gekko, that's the question. What's the answer? At first spin I'm leaning towards the latter since this is frankly just too much hippie music for my taste. Their songs all fit under the traditional early seventies prog-rock banner, but it's a bit too experimental and out there even to some of the Pink Floyd fans. It's actually a lot more like those German Krautrock bands (Guru Guru, Karthago) or if you prefer a second rate version of Nektar?
But I do enjoy some of the Nektar material and especially the epic sounding album 'Remember The Future' (1973). But to say that I'm totally buying the concept of the Gekko Project and their endless impro-jazz instrumential segments would clearly be a lie. The arrangements will obviously also remind you of early YES, and again, YES (pun intended) I really do enjoy the classic 'Close To The Edge' (1972) album, but a lot of their early material make no sense.
The Electric Forest' is however an uncompromising prog-rock album with a really dated sound and formula which just as easily could have been recorded back in 1973. It's admirable and dedicated work by great musicians [Vance Gloster - Vocals/keys, Peter Matuchniak - guitars, Rick Meadows - bass, Alan Smith - drums] and the keyboards alone will have any old Nektar/Yes fan in tears of joy. The Electric Forest grows on you like fungus with each spin (up to a certain point) and the epic work of "Black Hole" and "Avatar Jones" certainly would impress any fan of the genre. Have a go at the Gekko if you enjoy the above mentioned acts.