Procol Harum

Beyond
the Pale

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Greg Panfile: 'Resolution'

Or bits of the late great Twentieth Century


Greg Panfile is one of a number of committed Procol Harum fans who write and record their own music. His Resolution web-page speaks intriguingly of ' ... Rock and roll, Cajun surrealism, surf music in 5/4 time, a waltz folk ballad about children, a dreamy metaphor of divine love, a scathing Procol Harumesque indictment of the ego .. rants against consumerism and bad driving.'

Well ... there's nothing on the record that one could mistake for Procol Harum, yet it certainly shares the PH virtues of verbal mystery and humour, and an instrumental mix peppered with unexpected sounds and haunting melodic details.

Everybody's Got a Habit is solid guitar rock, horribly catchy; Love Is All Around is a acoustic waltz with squeezebox and bucolic flutes; Acadie evokes the McGarrigle sisters bopping in a swamp; Like a Dream is what we used to call 'mellow'; the angry Concentrated leaps forward a decade or two to strangle us with polysyllables; Take a Chance pits real-time songbirds against lap-steel guitar; the vocal standout, Shadow Woman, revels in its Beatley Beach Boy roots; Anytime You Call builds to a lovely texture of densely-layered guitar / synth; Just Stop Thinking would be no-nonsense boogie except for its claim that 'I could make a living reviving the dead'; Makes No Sense is worth listening to for the insanely trashy backing riff alone; Frigid Air seems to be that rarity, a genuine 5/4 tune (not just a 3+2 cheat!) and the closing rant, Shut Up About Food, is reminiscent of great moments from World Party's Goodbye Jumbo a big hit album of similarly excellent production values and retro-eclecticism.

Greg himself plays bass, guitars and keyboards, and calls on instrumental contributions from a wide pool of classy players; vocalist Todd Herzog turns in an excellent set of performances. All in all it's a kaleidoscopic delight. When 'Beyond the Pale' asked for a paragraph of copy, Greg sent this:

'Resolution, where madness passes from autumn to winter. Birds sing on key, atomic bombs explode in tempo, and aren't those four chords stolen from Repent Walpurgis? One single line of text, sung in French, quotes Samuel Beckett and a pair of Marcels ... Duchamp and Proust, as part of a love song about abandonment in early America. Plus, foolproof advice on how to improve your gas mileage! Throw your own handful of dirt on the grave of a dead millennium ... with Resolution (Bits of the Late Great Twentieth Century)!'


BtP's Procol pieces
by Greg Panfile: here and here and here

Panfile's Inferno

Panfile on the Whalers' CD

Panfile in the Palers' Band

Order Panfile's Inferno from Amazon USA

 

PH on stage | PH on record | PH in print | BtP features | What's new | Interact with BtP | For sale | Site search | Home