Friday, 27 May 2016

The Sludgelord Premiere: Gozu - "Revival" (Album Review) & Exclusive Stream of "Lorenzo Llamas"

By: Victor Van Ommen

Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/06/2016
Label: Ripple Music


At their core, Gozu is a bad ass American rock band. They’ve got heavy riffs in tow and bang out tunes loud enough to piss off the neighbors. But Gozu is more than this. Gozu is a songwriting machine, one that is able to churn out eight loud, hard hitting compositions without sacrificing the meaning behind the songs or the band.  Gozu’s “Revival” is gruff and dirty when it needs to be just as it’s swift and soulful when the time is right.

“Revival” CD//DD//LP track listing:

1. “Nature Boy”
2. “Bubble Time”
3. “Big Casino”
4. “Lorenzo Llamas”
5. “Oldie”
6. “By Mennen”
7. “Dee Dee Mccall”
8. “Tin Chicken”

The Review:

Gozu’sRevival” is gruff and dirty when it needs to be just as it’s swift and soulful when the time is right. There’s a fire burning bright and hot inside of this Boston four-piece – Doug Sherman on guitar, Mike Hubbard on Drums, Joe Grotto on bass, Marc Gaffney on vocals and guitar - as is evident in the chiseled production as well as the interplay between the band members. At no point during these eight songs is the rough and tumble attack pushed aside to make way for Gaffney’s throaty holler, or the other way around.

Take “By Mennen” as an example of what Gozu does so well. The song is built from the ground up, starting with Hubbard. He lays down a solid beat, hitting the snare just that split second later than it’s supposed to be hit. This is called groove, something that Grotto plays into well with his swelling bass riff. Gaffney wastes no time to use this drum and bass foundation as a pulpit to deliver his plight from. He pulls each and every lyric straight from his heart to the back of his throat, before projecting it to the masses. Once Gaffney closes out the verse by posing the question “who is the fucker that’s been taking what’s mine?,” Sherman comes crashing through with a tight chorus riff, pulling the band together and lifting the song to a new level. The metallic guitar solo that pops up later in the song is icing on the cake.

There’s plenty more of this finger-licking rock music on offer. Leadoff single “Nature Boy” has a pretty mean vibe, with an attack of aggressive riffing and staccato drumming to leave a deep impression. “Dee Dee McCall” is “Nature Boy”’s side B counterpart, though much shorter. A playful chorus about borrowed time is whipped around in “Oldie.” Here, Gaffney plays the role of the band’s director by belting out “yeah’s” and “c’mon’s,” serving as the song’s binding ingredient. “Big Casino” drips with sweat and swagger, getting close to a Kyuss influence without overdoing it. Then there’s “Bubble Time,” a cut that scores Gozu a lot of points because of how effortlessly they mess around with fun time signatures.

Revival” isn’t all speed and muscle, slower moments are also peppered onto this plate of meat and potatoes. Such as album closer “Tin Chicken,” an interesting departure to the seven songs preceding it. The territory covered in the first minutes of the song is the softest Gozu has ever been but it’s luckily juxtaposed by a hard riff. Gotta keep things in perspective, you know?

And then there’s “Lorenzo’s Llama’s,” premiered below this review. It’s the song on “Revival” that covers the most ground. Gozu takes their time letting it unfold. The verses have that stoner roll to them, the chorus makes the song blossom, Gaffney puts his bluesy pipes to use with great results throughout, and the guitar solo in the back half just keeps going and going. 

At their core, Gozu is a bad ass American rock band. They’ve got heavy riffs in tow and bang out tunes loud enough to piss off the neighbors. But Gozu is more than this. Gozu is a songwriting machine, one that is able to churn out eight loud, hard hitting compositions without sacrificing the meaning behind the songs or the band.

“Revival” will be available via Ripple Music here from 10/06/2016



Band info: Bandcamp || Facebook

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