Carl Verheyen Band
It's generally a bad sign when an album features the band's namesake negligently holding a guitar and sporting the expression of a tortured artist. And certainly Carl Verheyen, formerly of Supertramp, has made an album with downtrodden qualities congruent with his ridiculously contemplative photograph, most notably the smoothness of his studio-musician-tries-to-rock sound, his occasionally annoying contemporary rock choruses and the longevity of what could have been quick and catchy songs.
However, good songwriting and guitar playing is something that can't be ignored, regardless of the packaging, and the Carl Verheyen Band has its small share of it. Songs like "Chinatown" carry a funky guitar lick to compliment the vocals and inviting lyrics in a story-like fashion, moving the song along with a blusey construction that dominates the tone of the album. Also included are a few contemporary jazz instrumentals that border between pleasant and annoyingly plain in a Barnes & Noble soundtrack kind of way. However, a dominant portion of Atlas Overload is far too bland and lifeless, outweighing the few catchy gems and leaving this album a few too many notches below rocking.
Provogue, P.O. Box 231, 2650 AE Berkel, Z-H, The Netherlands