Pinnick Gales Pridgen – PGP2


Review by Gary Cordwell

Magna Carta Records

Release date: 8 July 2014

So, are supergroups ever as good as their component parts? For every Cream or Bad Company there are a dozen Power Stations or Zwans. Are supergroups ever actually super or just an ill judged and hastily assembled clash of egos? And where does Pinnick Gales Pridgen fit into this conundrum? The band were put together by Magna Carta honcho Peter Morticelli and his partner Mike Varney and consists of King’s  bassist dUg Pinnick, blues guitar wunderkind Eric Gales and former Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen and they have just rattled off this, their second album, less than 18 months after their well-received debut.

Proceedings commence promisingly enough with a howling solo and lovely Pinnick/Gales vocal harmonies in ‘Every Step Of The Way’, followed by the snarling riff and ‘are they, aren’t they autobiographical’ lyrics of ‘It’s Not My Time To Die’. Echoes of Bad Company appear in the soulful ‘Watchman’, which travels from a sitar intro to a moving, extended Gales solo. ‘Psychofunkadelic Blues’ however, sounds like a slightly formless re-tread of Pearl Jams ‘Go’ and it is around this point that the album starts to unravel slightly. Tracks begin to drift by uneventfully and riffs begin to take on a somewhat identikit hue.

More and more filler begins to appear, Gales solos in particular seem to merge into each other – technically brilliant, yes, but not saying anything, not adding anything and yet becoming increasingly present, almost as though he is desperately trying to fill the void left by a lack of standout songs. Obviously Gales is talented but this isn’t going to be the album with which he steps out from under Hendrix’s mighty shadow. Still, there are good points. The metallic ‘Have You Cried’ – seemingly an ode to self-pity – has (hopefully intentional) amusing blues pastiche lyrics and ‘The Past Is The Past’ brings the funk, of which there really should have been more… this works!

Really there isn’t much to actively dislike about this release, it’s just rather faceless and unremarkable. The production seems a little flat and sterile and two short, Jerry Bruckhiemer 90’s soundtrack stylee instrumentals in the final quarter of an album does smack of desperation. Perhaps rushing out an album in under 18 months wasn’t such a great idea, a little more writing/studio time may have reaped dividends, addressing the balance between killer and filler would have made a world of difference.

Pinnick Gales Pridgen – PGP26 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Every Step Of The Way
  2. It’s Not My Time To Die
  3. Psychofunkadelic Blues
  4. Watchman
  5. Have You Cried
  6. Like You Used To Do
  7. Build It Back Up
  8. The Past Is The Past
  9. LaDonna
  10. I Ain’t Got No Money
  11. Down To The Bone
  12. Jambiance