Gypsyhawk – Revelry and Resilience (Metal Blade Records)Tuesday, 26th March 2013
The inclusion of Rick Derringer’s infinite classic “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” was a dead giveaway as to where this one was headed, and headed right to the 70’s we go. Thankfully, Pasadena, CA’s Gypsyhawk don’t align themselves with the now played-out 70’s production job, which according to some bands, gives their musings an authentic feel. Too bad that’s not the case for most of the lot, but for Gypsyhawk, they’re just easy riders, more likely to throw down a cold one while sitting in the back of a shaggin’ wagon, blasting some Aerosmith. Something to that effect.
Probably realizing that the most metal journalists have grown tired of having to overanalyze extreme metal and its multiple offshoots, the sounds on Revelry and Resilience are like opiates to the tired ear. It also helps the band’s songs are free and loose, riddled with smoking rock riffs that saddle up nicely in the hard rock lane once occupied by mid-90’s era Corrosion of Conformity and to a more kooky bent, Clutch. Plus, the band’s description on Facebook claims they’re a “Hard-drinking, life-loving, rib-chomping, woman-stealing, full housin’ motherfuckers.” The rib-chomping part is what sealed it for Blistering.
The satisfying moments here are numerous, including the sweet twin leads on “Hedgeking,” and the bluesy interlude on “1345.” Former Holy Grail bassist/singer plays his part suitably, coming up with quite a few hooky-as-fuck moments, such as “Overloaded,” the restrained, lighter-ready “Night Songs from the Desert,” and “State Lines.” It all coalesces rather effortlessly, as the tried-and-true formula of straight rock riffs paired with memorable vocals is performed near perfectly.
As an alternative to the alternative band (meaning, Gypsyhawk are a better choice to the current crop of 70’s-inclined bands, who in turn, are trying to make us choose between them and the era’s vanguards), Gypsyhawk have created what is more than likely the year’s preeminent throwback rock album. There’s nary a slip-up on Revelry and Resilience and if you imagine hard enough, you can picture these guys rocking a house party just as well as a stage. You’ll probably have to bring the booze, though.
(This content originally appeared on Blistering.com)