Roger Powell

Fossil Poets

Synth maverick Roger Powell has done plenty of groundbreaking work with Todd Rundgren and Utopia as well as playing on Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell. On his latest solo release he has clearly fallen in with the wrong crowd by enlisting the twisted 6-string talents of Greg Koch. Rather than do his trademark chicken pickin’ this time out, Koch relies on atmosphere, vibe, and space to embellish Powell’s dreamy soundscapes. The two trade fuzz licks in “Creme Fraiche” for a sound reminiscent of Jeff Beck’s Wired era (if Beck and Jan Hammer had gobbled a handful of acid prior to the sessions). Koch spins laid-back R&B phrases and beautiful harmonics in “Too Much Rain” and throws out tasty fills in “Mile Per Gallon.” He ups the burn factor in “Peaceful Uprising” with delightfully cranky runs. Powell’s super-creative synth work is front and center on this record but Koch’s guitar is a perfect counterpoint. (Inner Knot).
—Matt Blackett