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The Jigsaw Seen is an outfit which is sadly missed. Although taking a hiatus in 2017, the band left behind a staggering trail of work. They kept that garage-rock torch burning, a sound more equated to beat groups of the sixties, twisted into this 21st century. But luckily this year we have seen a surge in activity from various members. For example, guitarist Jonathan Lea, along with Clem Burke and producer Shel Talmy acted as the makeshift supergroup for ex-*Bee Gee* Vince Melouney single “Women”. Then there is the adventures of this man Dennis Davison. The Jigsaw Scene vocalist who helped create the memorable sound on albums such as the Grammy nominated Zenith, and the magnus opus Old Man Reverb, presents his first solo album The Book Of Strongman.
This is something earnest, and refreshingly original. Across ten tracks, Dennis takes the listener on a journey, one which becomes more absorbing on each visit. The songs themselves have a great depth, although not laden down to the extent they require work, or stifle the enjoyment. Opening with the distorted swell of “Strongman And Sonny James”, the album begins with an energy that is relentless. Dennis is firing every bit of passion he can muster into the dramatic vocals and wall of ether he has constructed. Indeed, playing all the instruments throughout, this is a man in full control of his talent. Then he meticulously ups the ante into the sixties-banger “Shadow On A Tall Tree”, which twists with an addictive back beat, an uplifting chorus and a phased vocal.
Closing with a bit of metal machine music with “What The Hell Is That Noise?”, before it turns direction and distant vocals fight to be heard between drones. An enjoyable unique finale which ends this adventure on the same tangent of experimentation as what began the album. Make no mistake however, as albums go, this is sonically fulfilling, and something that deserves investigation. The Book Of Strongman is not a Jigsaw Seen album, although it is an extension of what makes that band so special. For fans it will quench the thirst for new music, for those new to that band, Dennis is the gatekeeper to a magnificent body of work to explore.
1.Strongman And Sonny James
2.Shadow On A Tall Tree
3.In The Folly Of Youth
5.Can You Imagine?
7.The Spoken Word
10.What The Hell Is That Noise?