Chimeradour is Jeff Lang’s fourteen release and he remains criminally neglected. While his previous album Half Seas Over saw Lang truly come into his own in the studio, with a gorgeously constructed acoustic-based album of tales and tunes, Chimeradour challenges the listener in an altogether different way. Who could image, whilst being beguiled by the albums opener Two Worlds – a gently wafting song of desert African influences and softly caressing rhythms – that two tunes later we would be moving at death metal pace with the double-time blues of I Want To Believe? Two more songs in and it’s the Jimmy Page-esque Edge of the Light – a song whose prog rock chorus will catch surprisingly in your psyche. Slow Room + Fast Blurred Faces shows Lang’s love of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, while his cover of Richard Thompson’s End of the Rainbow is sublime, combining the acoustic and electric elements of the album into one epic track. Chimeradour is the first time Lang has manged to put all of his considerable talents as a guitarist, and his numerous influences as a song-writer, onto one effective album. It is not an easy listen by any means, but the rewards are more than considerable. And the beauty is that Lang continues to grow as a guitarist, a singer and a songwriter.
Personal note to J. Lang: Brown polyester suits in the midst of a Sydney hea-wave show the sort of disregard for personal health, safelty and wellbeing that a father of a young child should avoid.