Not The Weapon But The Hand (Digibook)

"Marillion singer Steve Hogarth and Porcupine Tree and former Japan keyboardist Richard Barbieri make music that might appeal to fans of their present and former bands but sounds more like Dead Can Dance with guitars, fronted by Hogarth.


On opener Red Kite the instruments build from piano and willowy string ambience along with Hogarth’s tremulous voice up to what you’d expect to be the introduction to a more uptempo intensity. Then… everything drops out but Hogarth’s vocals and a drum pulse. Live drums join the warm violin and strings to lift you up from the melancholic beginning. Expect the unexpected on Not the Weapon But The Hand. A Cat With Seven Souls begins with Hogarth whispering something mysterious as earthy drums and burbling synths wash over you. Hogarth has excellent control of his voice as he slowly sings in his high nasal yet inviting way. Naked has an almost waltz-like drumbeat at the beginning, joined by bass guitar, piano and spooky effects. The vibes played in the middle accentuate the mystical feel, introducing a rollicking chant of “Don’t let them see me like this/ Naked as the day/ We were born again.”


Crack is a futuristic come-on song, with dark bass vrooms and skittering percussion, Hogarth singing “I’m going to love you until you crack” in a sexy purr. Noisy guitars rise up into a triumphant wail, Hogarth coo’s in the background and the song ends in a satisfying dubbed out way. Only Love Will Make You Free brings to mind Robbie Robertson’s Somewhere Down That Crazy River in both songs’ slow burning dramatic flair and the way Hogarth softly speaks poetic words to hand percussion then sings those high notes to a more band oriented backing. The song is soulful and lifts the spirit.


On Not the Weapon But the Hand the music of Steve Hogarth and Richard Barbieri is equally cerebral and heartwarming, taking you on a journey into the passions and talents of two unique songwriters." - Highwire Daze

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