Motion Fever is the new and seventh album from Canadian singer, songwriter, and musician b.d Gottfried, and a release which simply grabs the imagination alongside ears. A body of eleven progressive/classic melodic rocks songs which embrace nostalgic tones as openly and resourcefully as modern day invention, the release is a flirtation of familiarity drenched in fresh and original enterprise. This gives it the presence of a friend even before its first temptation is over with the lure of unpredictable imagination, a mix which only leaves full satisfaction behind.
Over the years Bill Gottfried has tasted an array of experiences and successes as touring musician and session player; playing with an array of artists from rock royalty and established musicians to budding talent and from empty bars to crowds of 50,000. From within his own Ontario studio, Gottfried has released six albums which have caught attention and support across a dozen plus countries, though such the fun inspired by Motion Fever you suspect bigger spotlights are now awaiting its emerging worldly presence. Recorded with renowned producer, engineer, musician and Juno winner Siegfried Meier and mastered by Howie Weinberg (Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins), Motion Fever is an encounter which finds a way to tap into instinctive tastes in varying ways, an ability sparking a readymade friendship with the listener.
It begins with the excellent Between The Blades and a rousing proposition which from its first seconds builds an anthemic bellow of keys, riffs, and smoothly melodic and harmonious vocals. From the off it is stirring stuff which straight away involves body and imagination, they awash with eighties hues within the tide of flavoursome and rousing melodies and rhythms lapping the senses. There is an essence to the mix of classic and modern rock which reminds of Irish musician/songwriter David J. Caron, but as a whole everything has a character distinct to Gottfried.
From the potent roar of the opener, recent single Sociopathic Traffic takes over with its flirtatious drama and bouncy ear enticing energy. As sultry grooves join the already dancey keys and Gottfried’s vocals once more caress with expression and quality, the song gets funkier and more enterprising. A blues spicing also invests its potency into the infection of a track whose departure leaves behind exhausted feet and voices which Shudder brings some respite to with its mellower but no less magnetic adventure. Across the album an array of guests aid Gottfried in his endeavours, here guitarist Mike Whaling, as in the previous song, sending spirals of melodic flames across the progressively seeded landscape of the song. Though there is not the virulence of the first two in its body, the track is a fascinating and increasingly persuasive proposal providing new texture and imagination to the album.
The pair of The Charlatan’s Whisper and Vanishing Point create new pinnacles for Motion Fever to rival its start. The first of the two is an emotive serenade with thick keys and a similarly vocal bass prowl provided by Meier. The track is compelling but blossoms another breed of temptation when its muscular tendencies incites all aspects to become hungrier and more forceful without defusing the continual poetic eloquence of the encounter. It is a mouth-watering spark for ears which in its own way is emulated by its successor. The new song stomps in with a hefty but respectfully commanding stride, rhythms a contagious tonic around which vocals and keys spin their own gripping web. Already within the album, Gottfried shows he is a master at creating choruses which never cheat in their casting of truly anthemic temptation hard to resist getting involved in, and here one of his most successful yet is unleashed with invention in one irresistible song.
Reckless Little Wonder is a low key encounter in comparison to its predecessor, though it too has a creative theatre and emotional fuel which richly captivates through the imagination of Gottfried and friends. It is a quality given extra drive and muscle by Purgatory, another musically scenic encounter bursting with alluring imagination around the vocals of this time Aaron Gottfried. Both tracks impress if without finding the same trigger to earlier lusty reactions, though Superior Ease with its smoky air and evocative breath and the climactic Quietus featuring the mesmeric voice of Andrea Wingelaar, are soon stirring up more boisterous desire.
Fair to say that Untraceable is another which fully satisfies without getting reactions over excited though its melancholic drenched keys just hold attention throughout until the closing might of Waste And Want takes over for another bracing escapade. The song pretty much sums up the album; choice melodies and bulging rhythms uniting their charmed drama and feisty sinews in a tempest of infectiousness and energetically incendiary rock ‘n’ roll.
Motion Fever is likely to be one of those albums which never quite get to the fore of best of lists, though it has as much right as any, but you know will be in the mix for one of the most enjoyable and perpetually played this year, so adding it to your rock playlist is definitely recommended.
Motion Fever is out now through iTunes.
Pete RingMaster 28/09/2015
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