Sunday, June 19, 2016

Live 1 by The Security Project

One is tempted to think, "What is old is new again." The Security Project is a group of performers who revisit the early solo music of Peter Gabriel. These musicians have the maturity to freshen the music without scrubbing it raw. And they have the musicality to authentically and delightfully enhance the songs.

The Security Project consists of Jerry Marotta (drums) - from Gabriel's original touring band - Trey Gunn (guitar), Michael Cozzi (guitar) (do not go to his website as it appears to have been hacked), and David Jameson (keyboards). The band is fronted by Brian Cummins whose vocal similarity to Gabriel is uncanny and to a large extent one might say that it's Cummins' performances that are central to making this whole thing work.  Without him you might end up with re-interpretations of Gabriel's songs which takes you down and entirely different path. (A friend who walked into my office while Live 1 was playing asked which Peter Gabriel album I was listening to.)

The Live 1 album consists of twelve tracks.
  1. Lay Your Hands on Me (from Gabriel's 4th album, aka Security)
  2. I Don't Remember (from Gabriel's 3rd album, aka Melt)
  3. No Self Control (from Melt)
  4. The Family and the Fishing Net (from Security)
  5. I Have the Touch (from Security)
  6. Intruder (from Melt)
  7. The Rhythm of the Heat (from Security)
  8. San Jacinto (from Security)
  9. Games Without Frontiers / Of These, Hope (from Melt)
  10. Here Comes the Flood (from Gabriel's 1st album, aka Car)
  11. Back in N.Y.C. (from the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway)
  12. Biko (from Melt)
Let the music speak for itself.

My personal history with Gabriel's music goes back to his time with Genesis. But it wasn't until his third solo album (Melt) that he really came into his own (in my opinion). But his fourth solo album (Security) really felt intimate to me. Which gave me a good feeling about Live 1 because a lot of the material is from albums three and four. 

The first thing I'll note is the fact that despite being recorded and named "live," this album sounds as though it was recorded in the studio. While there's some audience clapping between tracks, I couldn't detect any of other the typical artifacts you get in a live recording. This speaks to the band's high level of musicianship and the quality of the engineering and production of the album.

Second, the band's individual and collective performances of each track are done with vast spaciousness, where each part has the opportunity to be heard and shine on its own with a sonic separation from the other parts that doesn't compromise the whole. To my ear, Steely Dan's music has a similar quality (e.g. Aja). Another analogy is Steven Wilson's remastering of some of King Crimson's work. Either way, the end result is fantastic.

Here Comes the Flood, one of my favorite Gabriel songs, deserves special mention here due to Trey Gunn's superb guitar work.

The Security Project's Live 1 is a tribute to the music of Peter Gabriel that doesn't suffer the flaws of many tributes, a live recording that doesn't suffer the flaws of many live recordings, and a musical performance that doesn't suffer from high purpose and self-importance. Live 1 is a musically fresh and impeccably recorded performance of really good music.

The good news is that Live 2 is due for release in October 2016. What I'd really like to hear is The Security Project's version of White Shadow from Gabriel's second solo album (aka Scratch). I've always felt that song had potential that wasn't fully realized. (15 minutes after writing that sentence I find a video on YouTube of The Security Project performing White Shadow in concert. I therefore pray it makes it onto Live 2.)

You can read more about The Security Project at the band's website,, and their Twitter feed, @TheSecurProject. You can purchase their music on Bandcamp at

"I don't know much about music, but I sure like the way it sounds."

I received no compensation of any kind for this review.

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