Chato! -
Prog Fusion With Balls

(CD 2015, 45:00, Wave Men Records)

The tracks:
  1- Intro(1:22)
  2- Pulsh-Hit(3:44)
  3- Silverliner(6:29)
  4- Chicksy Dicks(4:51)
  5- Intermission(1:30)
  6- Inner Peace(9:30)
  7- Overture to Suzy Speedfreak(1:59)
  8- The Story of Suzy Speedfreak Acts I, II & III(7:54)
  9- Outro(0:32)
Bonus Dreck
10- Remembering Good Times(3:38)
11- I'm Only In You For The Money(3:26)

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Prog Fusion With Balls crossed my path when I was checking Bandcamp for new attractive music. One email later and Chato!'s album found its way to my desk. Basically Chato! is the project/band of Chato Segerer; a German Frank Zappa adept, who has no boundaries when it comes to music. He has tributed the master live and takes his humour into the compositions.

The album itself combines this Zappeske humour with incredibly powerful fusion compositions, sometimes reminding of Chato!'s landsmen Panzerballett, during others French Mörglbl comes to mind. Prog Fusion With Balls starts with a short funny Intro in German, which is briefly explained in the accompanying booklet. The short version is: moron and techno fan Honktorius gets to listen to real music. How it ends is told during the Intermission and the Outro. But this story aside, there is so much beautiful music going on, appealing to both progressive rock as well as fusion and instrumental guitar orientated music. Vocal track Pulsh-Hit is a fine but powerful composition in the vein of Zappa and Panzerballett, where Chato takes care of all the instruments and vocals, the female vocals are done by Sophie Lefeber, who at certain points resembles Distric 97's Leslie Hunt. Very strong is Silverliner, a jazz fusion composition where Chato is accompanied by Marco Zügners on saxophone. This song combines the heaviness and fun of Panzerballett with Torsten DeWinkel's more jazzy elements. Chicksy Dicks is straight forward instrumental music with a lot of technical elements, a song that could have fit on a Mörglbl album. Perhaps the best song on the album is Inner Peace, a slow and relaxed starting tune that gently increases in power and volume. The gentle melodies that appear during the opening section of the song are swept away by Steve Vai reminding guitar parts. The whole vibe of this song is piano and keyboard driven, but the icing comes from Chato's diversity in guitar playing. Suzy Speedfreak is a fine combination of songs bursting out with freakiness and weird tempo changes, including a stunning synth solo, a short drum section and amazing guitar skills. Bonus Dreck sees a nice Zappa tribute in Remembering Good Times and Chato's real reason he chooses to be in music; I'm Only In You For The Money, a solo effort with freak out guitar parts.

Prog Fusion With Balls is a solid album, highlighting the fusion side of Chato!. His combination of humour and incredibly well played music deserves to be heard and should appeal to a wide range of musical aficionadas.

**** Pedro Bekkers (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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