Marcel Singor - Future Proof (Glassville Records)

Not Metal as Fuck, but utterly magnificent nonetheless...
Release Date: 
26 Mar 2015 - 11:30pm

Former child prodigy guitarist Marcel Singor (he won the Dutch National Guitar Awards at the tender age of 13 and is now a teacher at Amsterdam’s Conservatorium) has been knocking around the traps for nearly thirty years, but, remarkably for a man of such singular talent, this is his first ‘proper’ solo record.

Years of playing what he refers to as ‘stunt guitar’ in countless metal/hard rock bands has left the man with an axe technique that is frankly breathtaking, but Future Proof is as far away from being a tedious album full of shred worship as it’s possible to be – and for that we should be giving praise and thanks.

No, Future Proof is actually a dizzying mix of eighties-infused funk-pop, yacht rock, heavy rock and good old fashioned songwriting skill. Teaming up with producer Bas Bron (a man who sometimes performs as alter ego Seymour Bits), Singor has come up with a frankly stunning album that has – just has – to appeal to fans of music with a melodic, at times funky bent.

Opening track and leadoff single Authority is an absolutely storming start to the album crashing in on some tasteful lead guitar before launching into what I’m sure will be my favourite single released this year. Singor’s vocal at times prompts a lazy Prince reference, although those of a more discerning ear will find it closer in actuality to former Plasmatics man Jean Beauvoir’s sound, whilst his versatile guitar playing – as jazzy as it is heavy, places him at the very top table in terms of taste and restraint – Singor knows, as David Bowie once did, when to go out and when to stay in.

Second track Peaking is a fabulous slab of disco-rock, propped up by a gargantuan synth riff, whilst the excellent Let’s Not Talk could easily have gone missing from a session by the Doobie Brothers when they were fronted by Michael McDonald. Later in the album the ironically-titled Flash provides a real highlight, the irony being that Jeff Beck’s mid eighties album Flash would appear to be a big reference point for much of what’s going on here, especially on the glorious solo that forms the centrepiece of the strutting heaviness of Practice; Simpler in structure but no less effective is another personal favourite, Starstruck, where pleasingly heavy riffage gives way come chorus time to a beautifully nagging hook heavily redolent of anything by the Dan Reed Network at their peak, which if you know this reviewer, is high praise indeed…

Obviously there will be many readers of Metal as Fuck for whom this just won’t work, but if you love top notch guitar playing, if you have a place in your heart for singing that has soul and heart as opposed to filth and fury, if you love just wallowing in someone else’s pure skill – or all of the above – then there’s no way you won’t love this album as much as I do. Top work.