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Jekyll - Breathe In (self-released)

2 May 2024

As Jekyll knows all too well, self-producing can be both daunting and exhilarating. After a run of recordings with Fierce Panda and producers Andrew Gannon and Mark Winterbottom, “Breathe In” sees the band now in complete control of the process. Scary stuff, but I have to say that the results couldn’t be more outstanding.

If the previous single, “Trampled Ghosts,” seemed to create its dark anthemics through the use of subdued yet large musical brushstrokes, this time out, the band seems to arrive at a similar destination by removing such obvious sonics and instead focussing on the spaces found between.

The result is an epic and drifting song, theatrical and shaded, a rock masterclass in making music using none of the usual rock elements. Being older and therefore with some less than of-the-moment reference points to hand, I would even say that there are moments here when they remind me of the mid-era Marillion, though I doubt that they will thank me for saying so. But there is a similar grace and grandeur, a preference for melody over muscle, poise over power that those proggers had, and indeed still have, down to perfection.

Rock music doesn’t have to be all about big riffs and thunderous beats. Although we are fully aware that Jekyll is more than capable of kicking out those jams too, it is fantastic when they remind us that atmosphere and anticipation, grace, and ambience are, in the right hands, even more potent tools. Jekyll, it is fair to say, are the right hands.