Dapper Dan Man…

April 16, 2009

Music Review: Bigelf – Cheat the Gallows

Filed under: Writing — gazzabazza @ 3:09 PM
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Written by Mirza Gazic
Published April 15, 2009

Many bands have a massive affinity with the seventies. They love the classic recordings of that era and those influences shine through in their own albums — homages to an era that most music lovers have a kinship with and a love for. This is not news to anybody, but most bands tend to have one musical part of that decade as a basis for their sound. Usually it’s the doomy heaviness of Sabbath or the proto-punk of MC5 and The Stooges but that is not the case with Bigelf.

They can be considered an amalgamation of nearly every rock and pop-based sound that the seventies had to offer and their latest album, Cheat the Gallows is the showcase. It is a sign of ambition and a restless nature to attempt such an album and in the hands of a lesser band it would have been a failure, but Bigelf have managed to create the right mix of bombast, trippiness and straight-forward rock here. They have surpassed the former characteristic of being a band simply influenced by Black Sabbath and The Beatles and incorporated much more.

This fact hits home right at the opener “Gravest show on Earth” with its operatic tone and influence made all the more unusual by the carnival music that suddenly appears. It may sound strange but it works to, at the very least, draw your attention to the album. Psychedelia and progressive inspirations are rich in scope on “Cheat the Gallows” and they are mostly prevalent in the anthemic “Money, it’s Pure Evil” that draws a lot from Pink Floyd and their rich sound and production can also be heard in “The Game”, especially in the lush and evocative guitar playing.

Some of the finer moments on Cheat the Gallows come in the form of “Blackball” and the southern rock jamming midway through that draws up images of a muggy swamp and the effect-ladden “Hydra”- this tune has instrumentation that, for lack of a better word, sounds bewildering.

The closer “Counting sheep” can be seen as a summation of the entire album, as it attempts to put all the influences into one 10-minute song. It’s erratic nature means that it is interesting more than good, but Cheat the Gallows as an album is a bold and ambitious piece of work. It demands concentration if you are in any way interested in music then you will feel rewarded for your effort.

Two reviews up here on the same day? Something must be wrong- judging by how briefly things come up here this means that I won’t be back on “The Ballad” for another month. Hopefully I’m wrong and I am expecting to write a piece on the new Isis album this week- stay tuned.

Review of the album up on Blogcritics.

Hellamor – Denim EP Review

Filed under: Music,Review,StonerRock.com — gazzabazza @ 3:02 PM
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Hellamor – Denim EP
Review by Mirza Gazic (StonerRock.com)
Self released
Release date: 2008

Most of us know that the stoner genre is within a very close reach of its saturation point. The worry that arises when confronted with a recording from a fairly unknown band comes from more than just the usual question of whether it’s actually any good – the other one is if it stands out enough to warrant multiple listens.

The answer here has to be a rather ambiguous, as it goes both ways. There is nothing inherently wrong with the Denim EP as such – the four songs on offer are suitably riff heavy and the vocalist fluctuates equally well between raspy croaks and soulful wails. The recording bears all the hallmarks of the genre and Hellamor also wisely throw in a more mellow song in the shape of the dusty “After All,” which is the pick of the quartet.

A redeeming feature with Hellamor is that, as they’re still unsigned, they’re at the beginning stages of their career and can develop. There is good songwriting here, but at the moment not much to outweigh the Nebula or Kyuss records on your shelf.

I’m a bit behind here as this review was published last week but I wanted to wait and upload some more writing at once, rather than the sporadic posting of one review every few weeks. I’ll get my Bigelf review up after this one and hopefully I’ll get writing up here more often.

But then again, who gives a hairy ass fuck- nobody reads this thing anyway…
If by accident you manage to stumble in here then go to StonerRock.com and check out the review there. Click here and then go and read some other good stuff up on the site.

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