Trommelfell-Records (LC 02040) Germany. 45mins

Post Rock ‘Oldfield; styled progressive rock luxuriousness.

My Rating 90/100

Am I being fussy or what? I say that because, when I was reviewing the second ‘Weever Sands’  album (“Stylobat’s Travels) I was faced with very little information about the source of the music.  Sure there was a quite scatty ‘Webpage’ to home in on, devoting multiple accolades towards the recording style attributed to ‘Mike Oldfield’. This time around though, there is a humongous amount of explanatory material available, leaving the reviewer somewhat submerged in information. The results of which have somehow made the task of reviewing “Secrets of the Pecking Order’ a tad more difficult. To explain this further, with such an abundance of material, having been made available, covering all aspects behind the music, there was a real danger of repeating per se extracts from the text already present in the press releases. I hope I have not taken too much advantage.

Despite having a different central character ‘Secrets of the Pecking order’ is, quite similar, in fact, a worthy continuation in bravura of “Stylobat’s Travels” both in the similarity of style and musical progression. Fortunately, it has sufficient instrumental variation to warrant its status as a stand-alone project.

However, without the intention of being critical, further correlations along this same pathway would, in my opinion, not be commercially viable. Album no 4 would need to necessitate a slight musical overhaul but still follow the lines of ‘Oldfield’s’ use of studio-engineered musical collaborations. I suspect ‘Jens’ has plenty to offer along these lines.

From a musical perspective, it is a magnificent 45 minutes of musical escapism, with a dazzling flow of arpeggio clusters drifting by in various tuneful formations. Particularly noticeable is a distinctly Celtic feel to the proceedings. The coming together and subsequent puréeing of these harmonious oddments are ingeniously executed, resulting in a rich tapestry of dream-like miniature symphonies. All together resulting in a vast bundle of integrated sounds that quite honestly defy an explanation as to why they all meld together so seamlessly and as, self-confessed by Weever Sands, a slice of  ‘slow-mowing Post-Rock minimalism and Progressive Rock opulence,’

Digging down through the various layers one discovers a cross-section of polyphonic phrases vibrantly moving both in opposition and yet together in harmonious union. There is a multitude of guest contributions, well documented in the press notes. Especially notable is the contribution from my friend Dyanne Potter Voegtlin & Jan Christiana (of Potter’s Daughter and Octarine Sky fame

And so, this I conclude is the heart of the matter, this is the heart

Tracklist and Guest Appearances
▪ Monday. Phea wakes early from a bad dream and ponders the saying ‘free as a bird’, glowing
with disbelief (Solo: Geo Schaller, flute)
▪ Tuesday. Comme toujours, Birdland Central tortures Phea with tons of paperwork about arti-
ficial tail feathers (Solo: Armin Rave, guitar)
▪ Wednesday. Having once been married sub-par to a stateless yellow corncrake, Phea now has
to ride the pony (Solo: The Weever Sands, synthesizer)
▪ Thursday. And again, Phea is coming in hot for work but is finally outsmarted by Donald the
Dove (Solo: Dyanne Potter Voegtlin & Jan Christiana, keyboards)
▪ Friday. On the Nerd Bird to San José, Phea meets a fancy Tech Chick and messes it up com-
pletely (Solo: Geo Schaller, saxophone)
▪ Saturday. Drowning his grief with long-time buddies Bald Eagle and Red Rooster, Phea takes
the wrong turn (Solo: The Weever Sands, synth organ)
▪ Sunday. Phea cleans his beak, rethinks his life, flies home, and unsubscribes from Birdwatch
Quarterly (Solo: Leslie Penning, recorder)