Read what others say about "Geof Whitely Project"
"HAND 2 EYE CO ORDINATION"
Geof Whitley Project – "Hand 2 Eye Co Ordination"
Hand 2 Eye Co Ordination is an ambitious album from Geof Whitely Project, each song has its own merits, the downside is that this album is a mosaic of musical ideas and textures that maybe do not always blend easily into the complete picture.
However, don’t let this reviewer put you off, each song does work within its own space. The dark, somewhat sinister opening of ‘The Cube’, the gentle melody of ‘Bleeding Hearts’, driving piano of ‘Be Seen But Not Heard’, (reminiscent of Billy Joel maybe?), the lyrics here help to build a picture, a strength of all the songs assembled here.
The instrumental ‘H2O’ hints at another possible avenue that GWP are more than capable of exploring, a jaunty happy piece that somehow conjures up images of dripping water! (Well at least for me!). ‘Running on Empty’ has a reflective feel and the lyrics could apply to just about anybody!
In short, Hand 2 Eye Co Ordination is worth exploring, a collection of well written songs with plenty to enjoy for any rock or progressive rock fan, more please GWP!
The album is very 'consistent', good sounds, solid all round feel to the songs. Difficult to put into words, but it just feels 'right'. Powerful yet not metal, inspiring but pretty 'laid back'... All the bits fit musically...more please GWP!
Paul Baker - Soundscapes
Geof Whitley Project – "Pathfinder"
Pathfinder is probably the most ‘complete’ album by the Geof Whitely Project thus far! A palate of musical textures and soundscapes blended but never conflicting. Musical twists and turns throughout the album but the title track and the ‘haunting’ Conscience, probably my favourite GWP track, are simply marvellous, with splendid texture and depth. There are ‘darker’ moments amongst the ‘light’, ‘The Real Me’ does get potentially personal!
Subtle guitars, majestic when required by the song, blended with intricate and by turn powerful keyboard sounds, engaging lyrics, foot tapping moments a plenty, (if you don’t start humming along to ‘Never Ending Story’ there is no hope!).
In short, a varied but consistently good set of songs, blended together in to an intriguing and engaging listen, more please GWP!
Paul Baker - Soundscapes
Released in March 2014 ‘Pathfinder’ has huge cinematic soundscape at it’s heart. Haunting guitars and expressive keyboards form the backbone on which this electronic rock inspired release can build. The vocals are precise and, despite being mainly monotone, extremely expressive. The opening track gives a very promising initial impression and this carries on through the album.
Other highlights include the the jazz influenced and title track . There is a simplistic design to the music that can only be admired, the 80’s influenced keyboards are particularly memorable, especially on and .
The guitar work throughout is exemplary and reaches an entertaining peak on and closing track enforcing the underlying darker tone of this release.
All in all, my first exposure to the has been a very enjoyable one.
Martin Hutchinson 28/6/2015
"JUST A FLASH IN THE PAN"
Geof Whitely Project – "Just A Flash In The Pan"
Following on from the excellent ‘Pathfinder’, ‘Just A Flash In The Pan’, once again moves the sound of Geof Whitely Project forward. The powerful opening of ‘Exhibition of Life’, shows how the sound is developing, but it soon settles back into melodic, flowing music that GWP are the central core, (at least to this reviewer), of the GWP sound
As with Pathfinder, the album feels ‘complete’ a real package, storytelling lyrics, check out ‘Ninja 9’, the dark but beautiful instrumental ‘Aftermath’.
Each track has its own tale to tell and has its own ‘place’ on the album. Stand out track for me amongst a delightful set of gems is probably ‘At The Crossroads’ with lyrics that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to, gentle melody with wonderful ‘breaks’, it just ‘grabs’ you and asks you to listen.
Once again an album of contrasts which blend together to give a wonderful soundscape of music, something for everybody, excellent listening, more please!
Paul Baker - Sounscapes
Geof Whitley Project – "Outlaw Of Our Time"
The Geof Whitely Project continues to produce melodic, haunting tunes on the excellent Outlaw Of Our Time.
Now, I’ve been promising to review this album for quite a while, why haven’t I? I hear you shout! Well the simple fact is that it has been in the CD player in the car for quite a while. This may not be ‘top down’ driving music, but it is certainly an ‘easy’ album to listen to as it is a musical ‘journey’ in its own right!
From the upbeat keyboard, (with a slightly 80’s influence dare I say?), to the longer progressive workouts of Blind Faith, Gate to the West and my favourite, Transatlantic Ghosts, not forgetting the quite surprising rocking guitar introduction to the track Meditation! Now only GWP could come up with that!
Excellent musicianship throughout, challenging lyrics, telling a tale but giving the listener the ‘room’ to reach their own conclusions! Plenty of progressive influences, but as usual, don’t expect bombastic, full on, wall to wall melotron and other progressive rock clichés, that isn’t the GWP way.
Two excellent instrumental tracks are on the album, Ricochet and Slow Motion. Slow Motion is worth a mention in a little more detail, being a multi layered electronic instrumental, chilled out and relaxing until it moves up a notch into a slightly higher tempo, while still retaining the relaxed mood and melodic sway. Probably reminiscent of the likes of Code Indigo on the Chill album!
So what about these longer tracks, well they’re longer, but still keep the GWP ‘ethos’, no meandering pointless solo’s, just songs that feel that they are the right length, telling their tale, bringing you into the GWP world.
There are a lot of subtle touches on this album, I’m not going to try and list them, but each time I sit with the headphones on, (not in the car I might add), I seem to pick up something else, a sound or passage that I’d not noticed before. For me this album marks the continued evolution of an excellent band/project and is well worth a place in anybody’s collection, prog fan or not, there is plenty here for everybody! Simply marvellous!
Paul Baker 03 April 15
Review: “Outlaw of our time” Geof Whitely Project
It is perhaps ironic that ‘Fibreoptic’, the opening track on ‘Outlaw of our time’ by the Geof Whitely project, refers to our obsession with becoming the fastest at everything. This, coming from the prolific brainchild behind the GWP, Arny Wheatley, who knocks out albums in the time it takes most of us to choose a new pair of shoes. However, whilst the previous two albums (“Pathfinder” and “Just a flash in the pan”) hinted at the fact that Arny has really discovered ‘his sound’, this album not only establishes that sound to completion but it also brings together his strongest set of songs to date.
The instrumental ‘Ricochet’ has real televisiual appeal, ‘Gate to the West’ features a strong guitar sound that is reminiscent of Gary Moore’s Parisienne Walkways’, whilst ‘Slow Motion’ has tones of Gary Numan’s ‘Cars’ hidden in its depths. However, Arny manages to mould these tipping points into something else entirely; developing from album to album with new influences. One of the highlights of the album (“Siren of the Sea”) is, to all intents and purposes, a folk song - both in terms of lyrical content and song structure.
Easily, his most accessible work thus far, it moulds the prog and synth-driven rock for which Arny has rightly become known with a sure-footed pop sensibility. There is mainstream crossover appeal in songs such as “Soulless night driver” which merges a Kraftwerk-style ‘Tomorrow’s World’ riff with Bowie-esque vocal stylings and an apocalyptic lyrical landscape.
Inhabiting the musical space between ‘Public Service Broadcasting’ and ‘Transverse City’-era Warren Zevon, this album sets the blueprint for the GWP’s next albums and, you can rely upon the fact that the next one, won’t be too long in coming. A really strong album, that deserves to be heard by the widest audience possible.
Gary Wilcox March 2015
Released in February 2015 ‘Outlaw of Our Time’ takes a lighter, more commercial route than ‘Pathfinder’. The overall feel to the album brings thoughts of , and other AOR bands, there is even a touch of in the vocal style and semi-orchestral feel.
Opening track is a delightfully reminiscent of the synth inspired rock of the 80’s with a inspired keyboard that morphs into a guitar driven verse that would be proud of. The album segues though heavy electronica influence with , a considered and melodramatic track, to the ambient dance feel of and back through the melancholia of .
I get a real feel of the cinematic, ethereal atmospherics of running through this album, it is there in the background on tracks like ,and , especially with the organ styled keyboard playing which gives a sci-fi inspired note to the music.
The vocals also conjure up thoughts of my good friend , measured and monotone they may be but extremely expressive with it. This comparison is most evident on which has to take the gong of being my favourite track on the album. With its oriental influences and downbeat rhythm, there is an aura of all over this song and the meandering, intense guitar playing is a highlight of the whole album.
The album runs out with three extended tracks that all run with a laconic mood, pensive and wistful. and take a deeper, more thoughtful route through your mind yet still retain a simplicity, a lack of over-complication at their core. It is perhaps more ‘music that seeps into your sub conscious’ than easy listening with the more serious tone that they have. They close out the album on a very sombre note, I found myself getting lost in the midst of the final track.
Geof Whitley Project – “Supernatural Casualty”
The next instalment of progressively influenced rock from Geof Whitely Project, Supernatural Casualty, doesn’t quite follow the pattern of previous releases.
Powerful opener “Assassin”, with dark lyrics, but lush keys and guitar, gives way to the gentle sounds of “Healing” & “The Secret”. All tracks are multi-layered and deserve a good listen through headphones to appreciate the hidden depths!
Instrumental “Interstellar” gently floats you into a world far, far away in a distant, no stop it, it does capture the imagination, if you let it, without reverting to the normal, bleeps, whistles and farts that may be associated with an ‘electronic’ track called “Interstellar”, bland ‘space music’ this ain’t! Melodic keys, as always, may dominate but they weave a musical picture of gentle intensity.
Time changes, subtle but noticeable weave their way through the album, but never “for the sake of it”, the changes are normally quite small but always fit the ‘mood’ of the piece, “House of the Holy” is a great example of this.
“Welcome to the Darkside”, is probably my favourite track on this album, a nice keyboard hook, interesting lyrics weave a web and, as the title suggests, there is a ‘dark’ feel to this song!
Now, I don’t think I’ve ever said this, but if there is one, slight weakness on the album it may well be the track “F1”, (shock horror!). The reason? Well to this reviewer it doesn’t quite seem to fit the mood of the album! Don’t let that put you off, this is a slightly harder edged track with its own merits and is by no means a ‘bad’ track!
“Hideaway”, “No Way of Knowing” get back to the more ‘usual’ GWP flow of things, “No Way” having an infectious hook that sticks in the mind! “Apparition” is an interesting track, leading into another instrumental “Embargo”. This track is a bit of a departure as well, with a different feel and sound.
The album doesn’t disappoint, hints of ‘darkness’ and disaster in “Tide is Turning” and “No Time”, but you’ll have to listen for yourself and make your own opinion about where the lyrics take you on your own personal musical journey.
“Remembrance Day” is a haunting and moving tribute, to these ears, to the ‘fallen’ and should be given a reverent listen as there may be a hint of a twist in the lyrics.
Album closer, “Usurper” is more of a ‘slow burner’ gently drawing you into the song, before opening out and blossoming into probably the most ‘progressive’ track on the album, nice layers of guitar and keys, with a bit of a ‘crunch’ in the musical crust!
Another good album that retains the GWP ‘style’ but stretches that style and uses a different set of musical colours to paint the picture, more please…….
Review – “Supernatural Casualty” – Geof Whitely Project
The Geof Whitely Project are back again with another journey through the spiritual and emotional aspects of modern life with sometimes angst, world weary observations of a society which appears to be just as confusing for an adult as for a child. The world doesn’t seem to get any easier as you get older – tho maybe we resign ourselves more to the ways of the world as the final track “Usurper” seems to hint at.
There is plenty of variety in terms of subject matter here, from opening track “Assassin” to standout track “F1”. All the way through our journey on the album we are accompanied by the inner voice, guiding us to look at the subject matter as a scientist through a microscope, watching as the lifeforms we observe conduct themselves trapped in their own existence.
Musically the band touches sonic references from Floyd to Genesis, Parsons and more yet not in a derivative manner. The landscape is mapped out with keyboards, guitars, drums and sax for light and shade as we travel through personal and wider observations of the world, always with the reassuring voice to guide us in and out of the situation.
Overall if you like the previous Geof Whitely Project works, you will find this to be another step along the path being set out for us. If not and you haven’t explored GWP’s crafted paeans to life – you will be pleasantly surprised, and with the back catalogue you have plenty to explore.
If you haven’t sampled GWP yet – try this as an intro and if you have – welcome to another chapter in well-crafted modern Prog and and more………
Rael (The Progressive Rock Show)
The album that started my odyssey, ‘Supernatural Casualty" is due to be released on August 3rd this year. All the releases have interesting artwork and this is one of the best, I do tend to gravitate towards albums whose artwork I like and this was no exception.
Mixing with costume drama and theatricals, opening track is quite an addictive one with a dark edge to the guitar riff and moody keyboards. The vocals are neat and demonstrative and suit the music perfectly. The song has an apprehensive feel, as if you are waiting for something to happen and not necessarily something good! An intriguing opening track with its early 90’s feel. has an unhurried rhythm to it, mournful and pensive with the delicate piano and trite vocal. Definitely not one for the depressed among us! There is stark beauty to its pared back and downcast delivery though. A heraldic keyboard note introduces , a track that wouldn’t be out of place on a film soundtrack. A nostalgic, gentle wistfulness plays out before you, the vocals heavy-hearted and imparting world weary experience to the proceedings. , whilst not being full of joie de vivre, lifts the mood somewhat with its homage to a mix of early with a smidgen of thrown in for good measure. As I’ve said before, there is nothing too complicated going on here but what you do have is transparent and honest and thoroughly enjoyable.
Piano is king at the start of blended with the saxophone like keyboard, it leaves an entirely palatable taste in the mouth. One more turn of the knob of mood lightening and you can feel a measure of hope creeping into what was despondency before. This ambience runs through the vocals and the whole tone, this is one track where the comparison is at its height. The guitar at the end is a particular high point. (how many of you wanted to finish that sentence with ‘Luke’ ?) would indicate that we are going to regress but, no, not to my ears anyway. There is an inspirative timbre to the vocals that works counterpoint to the contemplative music in a very clever way. The beat leaps forward a couple of notches with , the lyrics in deference to that greatest of motorsports. A powerful riff runs in the background giving the whole song momentum and drive. I’d see this as a modern version of ‘Tour de France dedicated to a different sport as the electronic beats vie with the sound of Formula 1 engines. I like the way that invokes memories of bygone days, sepia tinged and rose tinted. Almost ballad like, it is a really nice song that leaves me feeling warm inside.
That glowing feeling continues with , the vibe seems to have gone across to ‘singer-songwriter’ with an electronic bent and I think it works really well. Again, pared back simplicity is key to how this works so well. Piano and sax inspired keyboard notes cover everything with a velvety layer of sophistication and that feeling of fulfillment remains. begins with a spooky, sci-fi inspired intro that opens up with a feeling of yearning into an aspirational song. Another track with an 80’s synthesiser inspired sound that resonates with me as a listener. Measured and metronomic in its timbre, it lulls you into a longed for sense of security. The flute like intro to is very catchy and the whole song really lifts you up as if the sun has started shining on a rainy day. It trips along gaily, dragging you along with its good humour and exhilaration. There is a childlike impishness to the song, guileless and trusting, fans of will know where I am coming from. brings gravitas and maturity back and is a more mainstream rock track than some of the others on the album. There is a meditative and reflective quality to this piece and a respectful note to the vocals that adds a wealth and depth of experience to all aspects of the song.
is another unadulterated piece of music that comes straight from the heart, weighty and serious. There is a depth of feeling apparent in the vocals and the powerful music that you can’t help but get involved with. An impassioned, heartfelt song that pulls at the heartstrings. The lament continues with , elementary passions pour out unheeded from the soul of the music and you find yourself in the middle of an emotional pull. Profound and sincere, there is an earnest plea at the heart of it all. begins with the tolling of a bell and music that brings to mind the horrors of war. Doleful and dramatic it grabs your attention immediately, we will honour those that fought so we could have a better life. There is a solemn and weighty feel to the song yet one that commands and deserves respect. You find yourself engrossed in this philosophical and reflective track, rapt with the memories it invokes. The final track on this thoroughly enjoyable musical journey is , a gentle, meandering introduction leads into a graceful guitar that increases in tempo and vibrancy before the vocals kick in on perhaps the most commercial track on the album with its Floyd-like feel and tempo. The guitar flashes add style and substance to what is already a very good song and it leaves you on a high as it comes to a satisfying close.
I know Arny will have moved onto his next album by now but I found ‘Supernatural Casualty’ to be a box of delights. At sixteen tracks it is perhaps two or three songs too long but that doesn’t detract from what is a thoroughly satisfying piece of music and one that has introduced me to the an artist I will definitely be keeping my eye on going forward. Thoroughly recommended.
Martin Hutchinson 28/6/2015
Release 3rd August 2015.
Review - "Circus of Horrors" – Geof Whitely Project.
Geof Whitely Projects latest
release – Circus of Horrors is a very interesting piece of work indeed. As always the artwork is top standard and intriguing always suggesting a sense of unease or some dystopian imagery.
The music continues the by now well established style of tracks by the band of taut lyrics encased in crafted songs with high production standards and beautiful melodies and precision playing.
Tracks like The Hunter, and Burning skies are thought provoking, the former questions the value of hunting and the latter expresses a strong sense of cynicism towards military action. This is taken further on Luna with thoughts of war and I’m not your leader with its questioning of leadership. Mindspace is an instrumental, showcasing the music not the lyrics and allows you to focus fully on how tight the playing and production is. Other tracks such as Somethings lurking and Work of a human mind bring in some tasty sax playing and from all sides is an uptempo work again embellished with sax and lifting arrangements. Finally the title track seems to question religion and things being not what they appear – a world which can’t be trusted.
Overall there is plenty of meat here to enjoy requiring repeated listening’s to really come to grips with the content and thinking being explored. If you like the old fashioned album which asked to you to commit to listening and thinking there is plenty to keep you busy here, whilst production standards are crisp and the music tight and varied. Well worth the exploring.
Rael (The Progressive Rock machine)
Geof Whitley Project – "Circus of Horrors"
Roll up, roll up, step in side, come join the ride, welcome to the Circus of Horrors. OK, maybe I’m making it up as I go along, but this album from the Geof Whitely Project continues the journey through a mysterious, yet accessible musical wonderland.
The rather sinister cover did make me expect something a little different but as soon as the gentle keyboard opening to ‘The Hunter’ started, I was relieved to be back in the flowing musical landscape that GWP paints so well.
‘The Hunter’ is a song with a moral, or is it? The lyrics certainly require attention but in a questioning way, rather than being anything dictatorial. The music, yes, sorry, the music flows, as always, with hooks a plenty.
Things continue with the lilting open to ‘Burning Skies’, almost a waltz here, soon breaks out into a more expansive GWP soundscape.
‘Balia Conmigo’ is a nice surprise, deep sinister chords open, but soon the tune expands out into a jolly, jaunty, ‘flamenco’ type tune, with all the expected GWP flair and style.
Now I did promise myself I’d not go into a track by track review, so I’d better change tack, but not until I mention track number 4, ‘I’m Not Your Leader’, another tune with a message, keeping in line with the melodic yet complex feel of a GWP album.
My personal favourite is ‘Work of a Human Mind’, this song resonates somehow, questioning lyrics, intriguing keys, listen out for the guitar here, it comes more to the fore as the song progresses and closes things wonderfully dramatically, excellent.
Let’s jump to the album closer, the title track, this is a mini-epic, complex, dramatic, but never over played, listen to the lyrics, get lost in the music, with the headphones on and the volume reasonably high, you will enjoy the ride.
In summary, another wonderfully melodic, complex but not overly ‘twiddly’ album, full of superb tunes, serious lyrics, well OK there maybe the odd reference to ‘Ghoulies & Ghosties and Long Legged Beasties”, but it fits the story being spun and let’s face it, it does add to the fun.
The tunes breathe, each layer having room to entice the listener into closer attention. Another ‘simply marvellous’ album from a prolific project, that seems to evolve with each release.
Review – Geof Whitely Project – "Circus of Horrors"
Hello again my friends, I am back after being refreshed by a great holiday and am ready to rock and roll again. Having a
week of ‘Heart FM’ brainwashing me was quite cathartic really, it gave me the chance to cleanse my musical palate with some chart music going back from the present day to up to 30 years ago (some very good, some very bad).
The effect of this daily diet of non-progressive music was to lift any jaded feeling I may ever get from having so much music rushing at me all the time and I can come back with a new appreciation of the music that I love to listen to, share and write about!
So, onwards and upwards with the latest review………
I recently reviewed two albums by the and found out the history……
Geof is actually the alter-ego of prolific musician who hails from Stoke-on-Trent and basically does just about everything on all the releases.
The story behind the moniker is that ‘Geof Whitely’ was the name on something that came through Arny’s letter box once addressed wrong and he thought that it would make a good name, simple really!
A very prolific music maker, I concluded that…
What I also found was that there were no major differences between the two releases, just subtle changes in style and tac, it was in no way detrimental but, if the next album had only subtle, minor changes, would this still be the case?
‘Circus of Horrors’ is due to be released on 31st October 2015, let’s see if there have been any major changes to the sound or whether the has followed the ‘less is more’ mantra again?
Arny kindly sent me out the CD version of the new release and this had two bonus tracks on, is this the version to have? do they add anything, or should you stick with the download? read on and find out………
The first two tracks on the album are and you immediately get that smooth, precise vibe that was felt on the previous release ‘Supernatural Casualty’ with swathes of piano and keyboards, lush melodies and saxophone that just lulls you into a calm state of mind. Arny’s vocal takes a monotone, even route that is immediately recognisable, like some of the great 1980’s synth-pop bands. You feel that there is possibly a slight change to the previous sound, perhaps a bit more sophistication but it is still indicative of what has gone before and that laconic, laid back vibe remains.
For people who want full on, in your face music, you need to walk on by and look elsewhere, some may call this a bit one-dimensional and tame but, when you are in the mood, it really hits the spot and puts me in mind of and with its electronic edge. has a more upbeat tempo, catchy and pleasing on the ears as the guitar convolutes around the keyboard sound (very reminiscent of a clarinet), intertwining and mingling. It is a nice, uncomplicated instrumental that is almost a melodic amuse bouche, cleansing the musical palate.
Piano and string-like keyboards combine for a cultured note on the next couple of tracks. and see Arny putting more emphasis into his vocal, a more human note than before and it takes the songs nearly into ‘singer-songwriter’ territory. Pleasing and pleasant, the musical flexibility is a nice change from what has gone before on previous albums and shows a growth in the way that Arny puts warmth and soul into his composition and performance, yes it is no huge change but it is noticeable nonetheless. The former track is more moving and full of pathos where the latter has a real uplifting vibe with some rather tasty, fuzzy guitar work as well.
returns to that electronic feel that has been the more recognisable style of the except this time it has a more excitable rhythm, a real jazz infused beat to it with the funky guitar note and sax. Perhaps the classiest track on the album, subtle nuances abound around the concise vocals and smooth instrumentation. I feel that I have definitely returned to the 80’s with the intro to , the swathes of piano and keyboards wash over you and that monotone vocal returns to maximum effect. It has a sparse, laid back feel to it, precise and meticulous. Heartfelt and quite melodramatic, just like the best 1980’s synth-pop tracks were, throw in a riff that any of the guitarists from the period would be proud of and what more could you ask for?
Piano driven, combined with a punchy driven riff, should really work but it leaves me feeling short changed, like it was added last minute. Perhaps it is because it lacks the distinction of the other tracks but, for me, this is one song that just doesn’t gel. sees Arny give his voice that added timbre and power to lift what could have been another ordinary song up to a higher level. On this track it is the vocal that is the star and the instrumentation is there as back up. When the haunting guitar breaks out it really adds a touch of added lustre and leaves me nodding my head in appreciation.
The final song on the digital version of the album is the title track and it begins with a creepy fairground ride intro. On this track Arny really goes progressive big style in quite a departure from the ‘safe’ sound that has gone before. An intricate and complicated intro is driven along by a thumping drum beat and pounding piano note to give a feel that is ‘Hammer House of Horrors’ to the core. The vocals begin quite macabre and dramatic and give quite a disturbing atmosphere to the song. Perhaps more deep and meaningful than some of the other tracks on the album, there is something pensive and doleful about the whole thing. Edgy and quite disturbing, it keeps you on the edge of your seat and gleefully nervous in its deliciously dark way.
So the CD version has two extra tracks and I am here my friends to tell you to buy it over the digital download for the two bonus songs are the biggest deviation from what the has done before to date and in a very good way……..
does begin with the signature intro we have become accustomed to but soon expands into a different animal indeed, there is added depth to the sound as if it is opening into a much bigger soundscape. An instrumental with space rock pretensions that gets under your skin with its brilliant cello sound and meditative piano note, it leaves you with more questions than answers with its expansive note.
Finally we are given a song that you would swear was from a completely different record, it is really nothing like anything that has gone before. Deep, dark and meaningful with a vocal performance that drips sincerity and pathos, it has more akin with a melodic rock ballad. The guitar work is exceptional and just adds to the feeling of ‘where the f**k did this come from?’. ‘Subtle’ is definitely not a word you would use for the transformation on this track and I really like the direction that it goes in, wonder if Arny has an album of this more direct musical approach on the sidelines?
So ‘Circus of Horrors’ sees the evolve again with little changes like what we have seen between previous albums. ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ is the saying and, to a point, it still applies here. A very nice album but, if those two bonus tracks are indicative of what might come to fruition in the future, there is a hell of a lot more to come from this bountiful and creative musician.
Releases on 31st October 2015
"Circus of Horrors"
Geof Whitely Project
Review Emma Roebuck
I first became aware of the Geof Whitley Project (GWP) after a recent contact through my show on Progzilla and I am always keen to hear new acts and artists. They very kindly sent me ‘Circus Of Horrors’ to try out. The GWP have produced a huge quantity of material in their short musical existence and Geofs’ head must be exploding with ideas constantly to produce so much material. It all of a high standard of composition and structure from my oh so brief experience of the product.
Musically I would place them in the same category of Alan Parsons Project Supertramp and the Electric Light Orchestra. Melody is king in the album as is the song. There is no doubt as to the standard of musicianship on all of the tracks but it never swamps or dominates the music. The album is consistent with no filler but a persistent track after track of high quality songs that sit close to the pop/rock end of the Prog market.
The album drops straight into the Title track ‘Circus Of Horrors’ that immediately moves across time signatures and moods evoking a sinister soundscape of a child’s nightmare. The theme of transformation and change through strife and pain shout from the melancholic understatement.
‘The Hunter’ is dominated by the piano and bass with a beautiful saxophone laid over the music. It reminds me of the kind of things that Dave Gilmour has produced in his last couple of solo albums. There is no plagiarism in it just the spirit of those albums.
‘Baila Conmingo’ is an offbeat piece that is almost a dance instrumental track that shows off the production excellently.
‘Work of a Human Mind ‘ is another stand out track massive in content and sound. It examines the human condition and the endless search for a reason for existence.
The closer ‘Story book’ another self examination of humanity from the perspective of expectation of other and how we view ourselves in retrospect. The Guitar dominates this track stating a musical a counterpoint to the lyrics.
From the perspective as a lover of music it is an album that is worth owning. It doesn’t challenge the musical world or break new ground but I don’t believe that to be the intention of the project. I would like to hear the next albums show the rockier side that in some of the tracks seems to be fighting to get out. It would add more variation into the music and maybe push GWP into a broader audience.
They do what they do very well and I would like to see it grow and develop.
You have to be wary of repetition, it can become tedious and monotonous if there is no progression or marked difference between pieces of work, after all, familiarity is supposed to breed contempt, isn’t it?
One of the most intriguing artists I have had the pleasure to listen to this year is the Geof Whitely Project. Actually a one man band, Arny Wheatley, there can be no more prolific artist operating today as he releases new albums every couple of months.
There are obvious pros and cons to doing it this way and I was left slightly underwhelmed by the last release that I reviewed, ‘Circus of Horrors’, feeling that it was too similar to recent works. Now, ever one to take criticism on board, Arny has returned with ‘Between 2 Worlds’ and I shall give it the once over to see if he has rediscovered that creative spark.
The opening track Quest has that laid back style that is the Geof Whitely Project hallmark and retains the laconic vocal delivery. There does seems to be some added zest, a more intense delivery and a lot more of the ardent guitar work that gives extra lustre to the calm and collected keyboards. No need to go back to the drawing board, just minor alterations that add up to something more profound. Long Time Gone has a lighter note to it, a more refined introduction and a more moderate delivery that reminds me a bit of Fractal Mirror. It walks a tricky line and, thankfully, never strays into the mundane and bland, retaining a sunny disposition and platonic edge. The nicely judged percussion and keyboards take you on a gentle ride into Arny’s musical mind and it is a pleasant place, although there is a hint of melancholy hidden just below the surface.
That sugar coated tone runs throughout Never Really Know but always with a hint of caution. The clever lyrics betray a slightly darker side to the music and keep your attention focused on the story, the excellent instrumental break in the centre of the track is like a well knowing nod to the 80’s. I don’t know whether it is meant to, but I am left in mind of a snowy winter’s scene that could end in either happiness or sadness. The signature keyboard introduction opens Throwing Shadows, a song with a serious and slightly darker note as it strides purposefully into your psyche. The sweetness and light is replaced by something with an altogether sinister motive, this is the Geof Whitely Project showing there is a dark side to its Moon and I think it is a clever change of direction. The slightly understated yet heavy riff adds to the mysterious air that pervades and gives added dramatic effect and gravitas.
On Reflection begins in a very subdued manner, laid back and open-hearted. A wistful, almost nostalgic note enters into the vocals, perhaps mindful of things or people lost and never recovered. Thoughtful, reflective and with a heavy dose of regret, this track really works its way under your skin and touches your heart in a forlorn manner. A really nice song but one that just leaves you feeling a little bit sad. 80’s style keyboards open Everyday my Heart and it really does feel like you’ve been transported back over three decades to a time that you may have wished you’d forgotten. It’s really a quite hopeful track and lifts the slight melancholia that had persisted from the previous track. The songwriting on this latest album has really gone up a notch, leaving little nuggets for you to find.
The next song on the album is the longest track, Compendium weighs in at just over ten minutes and begins in quite an auspicious manner. There is a feeling of depth to the song, a deep seated sense of contemplation. There is a decision to make, a life changing scenario and the deliberate and contemplative atmosphere is transferred across perfectly by the music. A comprehensive and profound musical workout for your brain that makes you think, one of the best songs I have ever heard from the Geof Whitely Project. The change from the quiet and sombre to the excellent guitar solo is brilliant and really knocks you for six, the guitar playing is quite exemplary. Title track Between 2 Worlds leaves you deep in thought with its absorbing tone, seemingly musing on life the Universe and everything. Profound lyrics and an attentive melody leave you in a speculative mood. I really enjoyed the thoughtful feel that it engendered as it left me ruminating on my whole existence, another track that seemingly has some left-field influence.
The final track on the album is Living Your Life and it has an edgy note running through it from the beginning. A quicker paced riff gives you a feel of life lived in the fast lane but with a note of caution. No-nonsense and earnest with yet more layers of 80’s keyboards, it leaves more questions than answers and brings the album to a close on a meditative and reflective note.
‘Between 2 Worlds’ is a complex and extremely interesting musical journey that showcases where the Geof Whitely Project is going musically. The last album left me feeling ever so slightly short-changed but, with this new release, my faith has been completely restored.
Martin Hutchinson 27/10/2015
Due for release on 29th February 2016
Geof Whitley Project – Between Two Worlds
The journey through the musical world of the Geof Whitely Project continues with another wonderful slab of luxurious progressively influenced rock, the album Between Two Worlds.
All the ingredients are there that intrigued, beguiled and entranced from previous releases. From the ‘mini epic’ opener Quest to the rocking closer Living Your Life, this album delivers something that does seem to be lacking from music these days, exactly what that is will be up to the listener, but if you like melodic, complex yet at times powerfully simple music, then this album should be right up your street.
There are plenty of soaring keys, guitars and subtle drums, all combining to enhance the music rather than appearing to compete with each other, but that is the Geof Whitely Project and they are used to enhance rather than dominate or distract from the main theme of the tunes on offer.
Special mention must be given to the track Long Time Gone, this will be a track that has meaning for each individual as they listen, lyrics that certainly have you thinking. For me this particular song gave me strength when I needed it after the loss of somebody very close to me, but I think it will have different meanings for different people. Aside from that it is a wonderful flowing song with a positive vibe, in my book at least.
Each track has a hook/melody line, call it what you will that has you either tapping your feet or humming along, that to me is priceless. Twists and turns along the way, listen out for the sudden change of direction in Never Really Know, wonderful.
Stand out track for me is the ten minute Compendium, yes a ‘prog epic’, but it doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard from the usual suspects. The changes in pace, mood and rhythm are always subtle, well almost, the guitar that bursts onto the scene at around the 6.45 mark are a great surprise but it works so, so well. There are surprises and changes throughout but I’m not going to give them all away here.
I’ve still got another two GWP releases to review, yes I’m slipping, but I think the best way to sum up for Between Two Worlds comes from the lyrics at the beginning of Compendium, (with a little poetic licence), “wind us up and let us go, which way will we go?”. Not sure, but you can be sure the music will still be worth a place in anybody’s collection.
Review – Geof Whitely Project – "Malice In Wonderland" – by Emma Roebuck
These guys are prodigious in their output. Most bands produce an album roughly every year, the (GWP) have set themselves the onerous task of releasing 3 albums by the summer of 2016.
‘Malice In Wonderland’ sounds nothing like the other three albums of the same name be it , or, heaven forbid, .
This album has the hallmark that I recognise as the GWP ‘sound’: melancholy melody and structure. The heavy keyboard sound running throughout the album is reminiscent of the mid 80’s . The album opens with an instrumental, , that deceives the listener into a false sense of security that it will be a pleasant listen with a drink of wine or beer with friends! This could be true but there is a deception here.
The second track I guarantee you will think, “Where have I heard that before.” I will say one thing, there is a haunting reminder of the ‘Tales from the Unexpected’ theme in its feel. There is more variety in ‘Malice’ than ‘Circus of Horrors’, the last album by GWP which I reviewed. They have rocked out much more but also experimented with thematic electronic music. has such electronic feel to it with a very melodic tone and spirit. The title track rocks out, stretching the performance but with some restraint, death metal it isn’t but there is a rocker in there kicking to get out!
The album, as you imagine, has taken to the dark side as its concept. There is no journey through the looking glass or down a rabbit hole as such, but snippets from the classic remain. GWP have gone deeper and darker and are nearer a in style rather than the Disney variation.
The last two tracks, and , could easily be singles for me and, with airplay, crossover into the mainstream. My favourite track though, , is unlike the rest of the album. Its heart is really dark and sinister. Sandman could very easily have been the inspiration for this track.
I still think that GWP should let the shackles go and rip out a real rocker but the album is a GWP product and, to continue to produce this kind of consistency and standard, is no mean feat.
If you like your music melodic and structured ‘Malice In Wonderland’ delivers. The diversity of music has room a-plenty for this kind of release.
Released 1st August 2016
Review – Geof Whiteley Project – Carousel of Souls – by Progradar
“He sits at the table and reads novels, old favorites of his, the words and
plots and characters comforting and lived-in and unchanged.”
― Hanya Yanagihara,
– Serving to improve a person’s mood or restore a sense of physical well-being. That’s the definition from the and I often find that certain music can be comforting, music you want to listen to that isn’t challenging and just gives a feel-good factor, like your favourite pair of shoes or that comfy old chair you always collapse into after a long and arduous day at work. Mainly it’s comforting because it doesn’t change and you know exactly what you are going to get.
That’s what I like about the , each release (and there have been quite a few) progresses slightly from the previous one but is still very recognisable as being from this artist. The man behind the project, , delivers music that is like an old friend who has just changed their appearance slightly, enough so you notice but not enough for it to be a radical change.
The was formed in 2011, it consists of (actually it’s Arny!) and special guest Musicians, the aim of the project is to put out original material in all types of musical formats from Prog Rock-Rock-Pop-Electronic-Instrumental.
was released in April this year and, after a few listens, has really got under my skin in a good way. There’s a short that gives a dramatic introduction to the album before a segue straight into the title track which has a laid back almost flamenco feel to the music. I like the chilled out vibe that it gives out and the wistful vocal that Arny delivers is a perfect fit. It meanders along gently, taking you with it before opening up with a quicker tempo and an excellent chorus. As I’ve already said, there is no mistaking this for any other artists but, to my ears, the music has an added maturity and sensitivity to it. Nicely played guitar and elegant keyboards give a sheen to the whole song and it’s a great opening to the album. The keyboard intro to is very emotive before a short saxophone style blast delivers an intense vocal and another elegant song is put before us. It’s calm and sophisticated without any histrionics and the vocals really stand out on this track for me. A touching guitar adds even more pathos to the moving music, yes Arny has certainly stepped up a level on this album it would seem. A harder edged, morerocking riff opens with an 80’s synth giving it the feel of that decade through and through. Smooth and cultured vocals add to that feeling even more, where did he get that time machine from? A methodical, driving beat adds atmosphere to what is one cool track but, for me, it’s the great guitar and synth that really make this
is an almost anthemic track which has a vibe of a modern day to it. The unhurried
verse has a leisurely tempo, the vocals are smooth and relaxed and lead up to the powerful chorus and it all comes together to sound like something that could be used as soundtrack to a Disney film, cultured and urbane. That sax sound returns on to give an upbeat introduction and that is carried on into the song with some more of those tasty keyboards driving the track along. There’s more than a touch of electronica to the music and the vocal, delivered in a stylish monotone fashion, combines to take us back in time again. I’m beginning to get the idea that Arny might have been influenced by the electronic music of the 80’s on and especially on this track and and I fully approve! A more touching piano note opens and it is a very nice touch. The heartwarming vocals begin and the whole mood is one of reflection and nostalgia, I’m gripped immediately as the song takes on a most impressive aura, again quite anthemic like . There’s a lovely guitar solo that just bleeds emotion, it is astirring track that really hits you in the solar plexus with its passionate delivery. Let’s admit it, every musician likes to rock out now and again and Arny is no different. A cracking guitar riff and riving beat open anyone familiar with recent offerings like ‘Omega’, will know what I mean. It has a really upbeat vibe and runs along at a rollicking pace, designed to put a smile on your face and a skip in your step, it delivers on both counts. It’s not what I’d expect from Arny but he pulls it off with aplomb, not sure about the line though lol. The album closes with the dreamy which opens with ethereal keyboards and a heavenly piano note. Arny’s deliberate vocal adds substance over the top and gives the song a supernatural aura. The guitar and keyboards then open up with a more august tone and that supernatural feel goes into overdrive. It’s a clever song and one that cultivates sophistication and the uber-cool guitar solo is an excellent way to close out this knowing release.
All the tracks on are definitively but they also have their own character and it’s the way that they all work together that makes this such a great album. There’s a worldly wise feel to this latest release and it’s another great progression of where Arny is going musically and I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in this engaging musician’s story.
Released 10th April 2017
With the incredible amount of album released over the years from Geof Whitely project, Arny Withely solo projects with always great quality and diversified sounds on his albums. What a surprise and dissapoint to hear that he will only release one album this year.Sempiternal to be the only one for 2018. Better be good Arny!!
Arny is always giving something different but close to his own formula that makes him so successfull. The first track Stir of Echoes, a track over nine minutes is most probebly the darkess on this album but all notes are well played and placed. The Hidden Depths a mature piece of music with Arny's great vocals. Isolation is a short and very calm track like Arny would wanna calm us before we go one with the rest of this album.
Low and Distortion has a slow intro but Arny takes us to a more hard rock track really well done. Overseer is a great with the sound of the saxophone or keyboard, very calm music, probebly my favourite.Fairground Distraction more of a rocky sound that make me wanna move on the rhythm.
Momentary Lapse is a wonderfull piano song, very smoth and again his charming voice would make me listen to this song over and over, simply love it. The Voice is a little harder track but very well done. On a Stanger Tide is the last track of Sempiternal a nother great track of nine minutes long, the last but wonderfull music and again his voice is just perfect and will charm you.
Well saddly this will be his only release for this year but I can say that Sempiteral is a fantastic nine track album. From the first to the last note of this album Geof Whitely Project got my entier attention. I really recommand this album to everyone. Dont miss Arny's only release of the year!
Geof Whitely Project – "Dangerous Times"
Dangerous Times is the latest offering, in an ever growing impressive back catalogue of accessible, progressively influenced rock, from Geof Whitely Project. The listener should not be deceived by the slight dark and foreboding artwork or the somewhat sinister song titles, such as the title track, alongside Let Sleeping Dogs Lie, Life Has Claws and Nowhere to Hide.
The music of Geoff Whitely Project continues to develop and evolve, but the constant is always the accessibility, the subtle layers of music and the often wonderfully melodic and engaging musical themes, cunningly interspersed with subtle time and mood changes. The guitar is used to great effect in this on the title track.
Cloud 9 has a wonderfully annoying, (does that make sense?), ‘ear worm’ of a keyboard riff, which quickly has you listening for more. Great layers of sound on this track and the clear, easily heard vocals add to the overall ambience.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie will have you singing along to the ‘tag line’ before you know it. This track does have a more 80’s vibe, maybe it is the keyboard sound, but this doesn’t dominate and the overall effect is a nice ‘nod’ to the past but it retains a modern sound and feel.
Life Has Claws is rather sinister at the start, but again the layers of melody, hooks and sweeps, help the track build wonderfully, but doesn’t go ‘over bombastic’, which is a refreshing change these days. Don’t get me wrong there are enough musical twists and turns in this one, and just maybe, just maybe, a nod to a certain song where the main protagonist was ‘losing on the swings, losing on the roundabouts’, but maybe that is accidental, nobody else in Soundscapes Towers has picked up on it, so maybe that’s my imagination running away with me!
All in all there are ten tracks, all of which have light and dark, all have qualities that mean you do want to listen and keep listening, you’re never sure what is just around the corner, but you know it is going to be very engaging, melodic and enticing. Open Your Eyes is a great example of this.
The closer, Nowhere to Hide is one of those tunes that really wouldn’t be out of place on any commercial rock station
Overall, this album delivers on every track, if you like your music melodic with a progressive twist, but don’t really go for twenty minute keyboard or drum solo’s then this is your album. Over the ten tracks there isn’t a ‘filler’, (hate that phrase), but, this reviewer at least, doesn’t really have a ‘favourite’, they all have their own qualities and attractions, wonderfully wrapped up in the Geof Whitely Project sound.
In short this album is ‘Simply Marvellous’.
Phoenix Rock Radio, ARfm &LKCB Classic Rock Canada.
06 March 2019.