Dandelion commences with a torrid lead line from Bernie Mora's guitar in Twilight Tango, a take on the old Argentine / Uruguayan modus that wouldn't surprise you a bit had you heard it from Carlos Santana, and this forms a clarion call to pay attention 'cause Mora's gonna tear things up as the CD gets under way. He starts no sooner than the middle eight, and that solo section's going to make a lot of rockers' eyes glaze over, as it's pure expression on the fly. Forget all the legato concerns, Bernie's going for it, and as the mid-line closes out, things get even crunchier, power chords rising from the depths to stomp around the landscape. The ensemble, a septet, lays back a bit to requote the opening, then launches right back into a furious resolve, bringing echoes of Alan Shacklock's Spanish affinities in the great old Babe Ruth to mind.
Mora is inarguably a guy who loves volume, power, and progressively rockin' fusion in this selection of eight instrumentals. I doubt he understands what a musical rest is or anything other than balls-out steamrolling. Every cut here thunders in one way or another, so don't be fooled when the title track, Dandelion, rolls up. It lulls you into a bit of somnolence within the intro in order to better tear your head off when the guitar gets down to business. Canyon Walls likewise, although it's much jazzier. Bernie 'n da boyz jes' cain't sit still for a ballad, Homer. Into the Sunset comes closest to that, bless its heart, but soon turns into a rhythmic shaker with plenty of latin soul, funk, and earthy fusion reminding the seasoned aficionado of Iceberg and guitarist Max Sune.
Dandelion is a must for the progrock, hard rock, fusion, fiery World Music, and kindred crowds. No idea where this guy comes from, as the promo lit's extremely truncated, but, hoo-boy!, Mora exudes confidence and savvy amid all the rave-up overdriven and chose a barnburning crew to back him. Forget the REALLY unwisely chosen New Agey cover and strange choice of matching title (I woulda gone for Hot Damn! or something similar), 'cause this CD will rip you a new one, partner.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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