Thursday, August 09, 2012

Gypsyhawk-Revelry and Resilience

Metal Blade

Seems like the everything I have tried to review lately has taken me a week or so to pin down what I think and get fingers over to the keyboard and hammer out my thoughts. This album is no exception to that recent trend. We have here the second album from Pasadena, California based classic metal/retro metal act Gypsyhawk. These guys combine a heavy dose of Thin Lizzy with a NWOBHM sound. The result is a sound that mixes the song grooves of prime mid-70's Thin Lizzy with a heavier drive. Bands like Slough Feg have been mixing those influences for years and to a lesser extent so have Bible of the devil. Despite all the influence Gypsyhawk manage to shine and put their own spin on this sound. Songs like the choppy yet heavy "Galaxy Rise", the deep cutting "Red Wedding", the ultra-smooth "Frostwyrm" and the boogie driven "Hedgeking" are all examples of what this band can do. Now when I saw the final track was a cover of "Rock and roll hoochie koo" I was afraid, very afraid. Yet they made it not just tolerable, but likable. Now remember back to the start of this review that coming with these thoughts took me a while so there is more here than just the kind of blind praise that some reviewers seem to be throwing at this band's feet. I like what they are doing, but this mix isn't anything new. The biggest flaw I found was they do get so caught up in the influences that they don't always make or take time to establish enough of their own sound. Some times they take hold and get some pieces in there that let me know who they are, but that didn't always happen. Normally they excel the most in say the final third of the songs. That's where they mix in some decent solos and instead of riding the song out they throw in some various blasts to let us know they are thinking about making these songs as complete as they can. It's that last factor that finally sold me on these guys after about dozen spins of this album. It's not perfect than some other bands doing the 70's vibe better, but Gypsyhawk are well on their way to being

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