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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jerry Gaskill

Come Somewhere

Review by Gary Hill

What a wonderful surprise this one is! I had never been very familiar with King's X, so when I got this disc from King's X drummer Gaskill, I wasn't' sure what to expect. The album certainly is nothing like I would have imagined, though. This is quite probably one of the best three or four discs from 2004, and one of the most original and entertaining sounds this reviewer has ever heard. While the disc is not perfect, it is very good and very unique.

Gaskill is joined here by band mate Ty Tabor. While Gaskill provides the song writing, drums and vocals, Tabor lays down bass and guitar. The music here is an interesting blend of styles. Sounds of alternative rockers like Elvis Costello merge with more retro sounds like acoustic Zeppelin and vintage Clapton and the Beatles with heavier alternative rock tones. The end result is a soundscape that while, showing its various leanings is a fairly seamless amalgamation. This one is catchy and creative. I highly recommend it to any one who has an interest in creative music.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Kids
Alternating between a pretty acoustic melody and a heavy burst of sound for the beginning moments of this cut. As it drops to the verse the modern acoustic rock style has echoes of '60's rock but is quite modern and quite cool. Short segments of heavy hard edge riffing makes up the other side of this number. The later segments include a retro touch in that heavier sound.
She's Cool
Starting bluesy, this rocker has both a modern alternative rock style and a killer retro texture. This is a wonderful modern pop rock cut that has some awesome textures. It has a progish break.
Johnny's Song
This acoustic rocker has an intentional amateurish texture at first, then it explodes into an expansive melody that works quite well. This one is quirky and definitely not the strongest track on the disc, but sections work exceptionally well. As it moves into the hard-edged segment it becomes an incredibly powerful piece. It's just too bad the rest of the song isn't this powerful.
No Love
This one feels a bit like a proggy Nirvana. It's divided almost equally between the opening acoustic based section and a movement that includes burst of heavier rocking proggy acoustic modes.
L.A. Flight
This is a short (less than 2 and a half minutes) acoustic guitar dominated number. It has some interesting changes in its arrangement, becoming quite involved.
Faulty Start
Another acoustic segment starts this, and dominates much of the track. The electric lead on this has a meaty and killer sound. This one feels at times like a cross between Cracker and something from Eric Clapton's first solo album.
All The Way Home
No, this is not the Spinal Tap number, but instead one of the most intriguing sounds of 2004. This combines elements of Led Zeppelin's acoustic side with the Beatles and an expansive modern sound. This has an impressive pop sensibility. It's the best piece on the album.
Crazy
This one is rawer and a bit weird at first. It is down in the mix and fairly chaotic. It eventually ramps up into one of the harder rocking segments of the CD. Part of the vocals are sing in a raw fashion while others are spoken in an intriguing manner. This gets quite proggy, then shifts to a psychotic jazzy arrangement. This one takes a little getting used to, but is very cool.
Garden Stroll
At less than a minute and a half in length this is a retro-tinged alternative rocker that feels a bit like some the '80's neo psychedelia at times. It resolves into a killer, but too short powerfully arranged segment.
Walk Alone
This rocker is another that combines retro textures with a modern rock motif. This is a nice catchy anthemic balladic cut. It features some very tasty guitar work.
Every Day
This is a more traditional ballad. It is pretty and gentle.
Gallop
This one comes in with a fast and acoustic mode, a bit similar to the Who's "Pinball Wizard". It shifts as the verse enters to a harder rocking bouncy alternative mode, then the opening segment returns only to give way once more to the harder movement. A more proggy section takes it later with the guitar weaving understated, but meaty lines.
Hello Mrs.
This is a very well arranged ballad whose real strength comes from the overlayers. It fees as if it leads straight into the next one.
I Saw You Yesterday
This cut starts in a slightly heavy ballad style, then after a time shifts to a hard edged style that feels a bit like Enuff Z'Nuff. After a while it drops back to the original segment. The harder mode returns and then gives way to a new balladic process based on mellower tones. This eventually leads into the Enuff Z'Nuff styles sections return. This time it resolves out into an expansive prog jam. Pretty acoustic tones accented with burst of power take it to a noisy bit of chaos that ends the track.
Face the Day
The fastest and hardest rocking number on the show ends the disc. This one gets downright metallic while still maintaining the more unique musical themes that make this disc such a treat. This one gets very heavy and noisy, though and the aggressive sounds pose quite a contrast to the guitar segments of the track. This is a very dramatic one.
 
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