FAME Review: Steve Barton - Projector
Steve Barton - Projector


Steve Barton

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Steve Barton used to front Translator, a band that edged into psychedelia and then jam band status in its closing days in the mid-80s (well, yeah, the group's still "together", but one can hardly call erratic live gigs and a stream of compilations since 1986 a very active status, now can one?). With Projector, he steps back to the group's early-80s period, more rock and sorta-pop oriented. In fact, the CD's kind of an accident, having been written shortly after his dad's death, a purgative of sorts that Lone Justice co-founder Marvin Etzioni caught on a 4-track and then suggested working up…with Barton playing all instruments.

Thus, the sound is spare, finally recorded on 2" reel-to-reel tape except for one cut rescued whole from 4-track, the entire enchilada mixed in five days (and I certainly would've engineered and balanced it differently), providing a garagey flavor and atmosphere. So, if I say everything's a bit rough, you'll know what I mean, though that as often works in favor of the material as against. Nor is Barton's voice the most polished though he can't be faulted for a certain vibe that never flags, making a distinctive tang and sincerity (and I wish to hell he'd played more lead guitar lines; good stuff when it appears). You'll find some Robin Hitchcock, Teardrop Explodes, and the influence of others in here, but it's largely rock, though I suspect Pie in the Face is going to set a few listeners back on their heels, a strange blend of Leonard Cohen and raw 60s psych that's more compelling than might be expected.

Track List:

  • These 4 Walls
  • Here Come I
  • Projector
  • Bowie Girl
  • This is Where Tomorrow Ends
  • Mojave Phone Booth
  • The Little Death
  • Pie in the Face
  • Please
  • Little Heart Attack
  • Super Fantastic Guy
  • Cut the Rope
All songs written by Steve Barton.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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