Review – Rod While – Integrity

‘Integrity’ is the new album by Rod While. It is an instrumental album with primary instrumentation comprising guitar, synthesisers, keyboards, drums and bass. The loose album concept relates to the alarming decline in honesty and integrity amongst our political leaders in recent years and the need for some kind of hope for the future of our planet. The album spans a number of genres including prog rock, jazz fusion and electronica.

Rod While is a guitarist, songwriter and producer who has played in a variety of bands including Trekellion Skyway and Sarajevo. In 2021 he embarked on a solo career with the release of ‘Open the Cage’, an instrumental album of diverse material from progressive rock to jazz fusion to electronica and orchestral. In 2022 he released his second album of original compositions ‘Vigil’.

Rod’s ethos can be summed up in this statement, “I do not seek fame and fortune in music but have a simple desire to express myself through my music and to move others. I will never be a rock star; I will always be Rod While and my music is a kind of summation of everything I have listened to and enjoyed since I was a teenager.”

I have been an admirer of Rod’s music ever since I reviewed ‘Vigil’ and this new release sees this talented musician deliver more of his deep and immersive soundscapes. It’s cerebral music for the thinking man and there are no short term fixes or vapid earworms anywhere in sight. Sepia tinged nostalgia mixes with edgy electronica to deliver fourteen tracks and fifty five minutes of deeply engaging, mesmerising and, at times, riveting music. Rod’s musical influences are extremely wide ranging from classical to jazz to rock to electronica and you can hear that throughout this impressive, cinematic journey.

There are many highlights among the absorbing track list, the edgy, funky style of The Death of Context with it’s pulsating keyboards and sharp, stylish guitar lines, the sweeping, wistful grandeur of The Somnambulist that contains a fluid, jazzy guitar that reminded me of Martin Taylor and the industrial, energetic electronica and fuzzy guitar of Radical Lies to name but three of them.

To my ears, there are touches of a more laid back Kraftwerk in Burn Down the Blue Skies and The Fermi Paradox and Rhyme, Reason and the Apocalypse and Las Burillas lead you into a wide vista world of Jean-Michel Jarre and a night sky full of stars. One of the more left-field and intriguing pieces on the album is Survivor Elation, a moody and introspective track that has an almost alien feel to it and could be the soundtrack to a deep and thoughtful sci-fi film, it’s all very clever and mesmerising.

Once again, Rod While has that uncanny ability to draw you in to his creative universe and, with ‘Integrity’, has delivered his most absorbing and thought-provoking work yet. If you like beguiling and captivating music that asks questions of the listener then this will be right up your street.

Released 26th April, 2024.

Order from bandcamp here as a ‘name your price’ release

INTEGRITY | Rod While (

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