Exposé Online banner

Phil Mercy — Fear of Fantastic Flight
(Mellow MMP 337, 1998, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 1999-04-01

Fear of Fantastic Flight Cover art

I don't know who Phil Mercy is, but, if I had to guess from what's in the CD booklet, I'd say he's a gifted English guitarist who has always wished for a chance to record the kind of music HE likes, rather than the stuff he does for a living (no doubt watered down pablum for the masses). Fortunately for us, Phil likes progressive fusion and that's what you'll find from the beginning of "Fear of Fantastic Flight" to the end. Solid fusion rock appears on the tracks "Aliens Wear Boots" and "Pump II" while "Dance of the Aliens" and "Khan Bh–t" could have come off of a Gamalon or Bon Lozaga release. Phil also gets to display his dexterity on keyboards, whether he's playing solo lines or deft unisons with the guitar. This is also truly a solo effort; all the drum parts are programmed on an Alesis drum machine and Phil displays his mastery of that instrument as well. Not to sound like a broken record, but, as with most of my colleagues at Expos‚, I always prefer a live musician to a drum machine, no matter how well programmed it is. Economic necessities aside, the use of digital drumming and keys leaves the overall sound of "Fear of Fantastic Flight" a bit flat and lifeless. Fortunately for the listener, the compositions and arrangements have the upper hand and more than tip the scales in favor of this release. I sure hope Phil can employ some of his session mates to help him out on the next one which I am eager to hear.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 17, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Phil Mercy

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

White Willow - Ignis Fatuus – This one was worth the wait! This new band from Norway plays a rich blend of folk and symphonic rock, sprinkled with a generous helping of classical influence. Fronted by the gorgeous female voice of...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues