Michel Delville is a busy man. Recently he has played a big part in the thrilling new Gödel Codex album, and now along comes a new release from his well-established fusion band The Wrong Object, entitled Into The Herd. Judging by this powerful album, they are a band who just keep getting better with each release. The Wrong Object formed in Liège, Belgium in 2002, originally as a Zappa tribute band, and they have been releasing ever-improving examples of their own signature hefty fusion since 2007, and this latest release is their fifth studio album. Their debut featured Elton Dean, so there’s evidence of the right chops, should you need it!
The album bursts into the room all menacing bass bubble and duelling dirty saxes courtesy of Pierre Mottet, Marti Melia, and François Lourtie, as the opening title track makes an instant impression. Having grabbed your attention, the album then takes you on a trip that reveals more on each play, and you better keep your eyes on the road as the album weaves through plenty of style changes, never losing sight of the prize. The second track A Mercy leads us on our first steps through a dense Belgian forest, led by Antione Guenet’s atmospheric electric piano giving the tune a distinct laid-back Gilgamesh feel.
Michel serves up some stellar guitar playing recalling Phil Miller in places, but he has his own style, exemplified on the coruscating fretwork that briefly graces a heavy beast by the name of Another Thing, a tune that packs many a punch in the manner of a fleet-of-foot heavyweight boxer, dancing back after each aural blow is landed. Another Thing is one of the highlights of this classy album.
Drummer Laurent Delchambre adds all manner of percussive doodles over his expansive kit thumping to the spaciously cosmic Rumble Buzz in a manner that Bill Bruford would approve of, but Into The Herd is more an ensemble work than an exercise in spotlight grabbing, where all the parts add together to make a thoroughly satisfying and greater whole. I wouldn’t expect anything less, as Into The Herd follows a pattern set on previous albums where egos are subsumed to the collective goal.
Things even get a tad Latin on the hot’n’steamy Mango Juice, as the journey takes one of many detours on its merry way to aural satisfaction. At nearly nine minutes, this is the longest track on the album, but as with everything here it is warm and involving and certainly does not outstay its welcome.
The superb interplay between the massed saxes of Marti and François gets a place in the sun on the rollicking Many Lives. The following Ship Of Fools has a Zappaesque symphonic quirkiness to it before and after a languorously sexy tenor sax solo from Marti to a driving beat sees the tune belting down the forest track as wolverines and bears scatter in its wake. Lovely!
There is nothing wrong with this object, it is a lovely example of consummate music making of a high calibre. Don’t let the fusion tag put you off, this is a must for any lover of good, professionally crafted music.
01. Into The Herd (4:11)
02. A Mercy (4:55)
03. Rumble Buzz (7:10)
04. Another Thing (6:52)
05. Filmic (5:34)
06. Mango Juice (8:58)
07. Many Lives (6:09)
08. Ship Of Fools (6:39)
09. Psithurism (3:42)
Total Time – 54:15
Michel Delville – Guitar, Roland GRo9
Marti Melia – Bass and Tenor Saxes, Clarinet
François Lourtie – Tenor and Soprano Saxes
Antione Guenet – Keyboards
Pierre Mottet – Bass
Laurent Delchambre – Drums, Percussion, Samples
Record Label: Off Records
Country of Origin: Belgium
Date Of Release: 1st February 2019