Alan Reed bassist takes her turn in the spotlight.
Often found playing bass in Alan Reed’s band, Jennifer Clark turns leader with this five-track EP of instrumentals. Glasgow-based Clark plays bass, guitar and keys, aided and abetted by fellow Alan Reed band member Darren Callow on guitar, with Andrew Samson from Scots alternative hip-hop group Stanley Odd on drums. The production is generally good, although several tracks feature a distressingly thin lead guitar tone that rears its ugly head from time to time. ReEntry is the atmospheric opener, with guitars layered over Samson’s steady pulse. Ascan, the title track, has a nocturnal, brooding mood, while Eva sets a gentle, pastoral prog pace. The harmonies of Ascendant aim for a 70s Steely Dan vibe but the standout of the bunch is the closing track Heliosphere. The song begins with an Oldfield-esque acoustic melody, gradually adding on new sounds and layers until the whole picture is revealed. At times the EP feels like a calling card for someone seeking work composing soundtracks for film and TV, but sonic bugbears aside, Clark’s debut in the driving seat shows compositional promise.