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Bomber Goggles - Gyreland CD (album) cover

GYRELAND

Bomber Goggles

 

Crossover Prog

3.72 | 67 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars A very fun tongue-in-cheek look into a possible future scenario in which humans build a community on top of the island of plastic floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that their waste has created. Musically this is exceptionally fun as the band has drawn eclectically from many styles and sources to create its little rock opera--and they do a remarkable job of replicating styles while creating truly complicated, clever, and engaging songs, each and every one. The lyrics alone are worth the listen!

1. "Land Of Plastic" (5:18) opens like a 1970s rock anthem from TED NUGENT or DAMN YANKEES. The story begins with the accounting of Earth's polluted lands and the discovery of this mountain of plastic in the ocean. (8.5/10)

2. "The Gyre" (5:41) though the instrumental opening is rather blues-rocky, once the song settles into its story-delivery mode it continues in a style similar to that of Peter Gabriel's deliver of the stripped down 'doldrums' part of "Supper's Ready"--just before the "A flower? A flower!" part. Nice guitar lead blaring throughout in the background. (9/10)

3. "Building" (5:23) an instrumental that opens with a "Shaft" cymbol play on the hi-hat before hyper-speed piano similar to that on "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway." The band is so tight-and so creative. The song morphs into a lighter psych-funk number that could come off a Brian ELLIS album. Nice! At the halfway point Keith Emerson shows up to bridge us over to a cinematic section that combines the opening bridge into a softer, melodic section of wordless silliness. We then finish with a return to the high speed section for the finish. Nice! (9/10)

4. "Telepathy" (4:31) opens with bass, brushed cymbols, and guitar harmonics over which piano and multiple voices add an odd kind of STEELY DAN singing (a slowed down "Reelin' in the Years"). Again, the talent and versatility of these guys as both composers and performers is rather astonishing. I'd compare them to East Coast futurists, 3RDegree, but these guys are so much more broad-spectrumed. (8.5/10)

5. "Oh Gyreland" (3:33) plays like a BILLY JOEL/Broadway tune--especially the chorus. (Think Godspell--and equally catchy and witty.) At the two minute mark we get a radical shift in tempo and mood as we seem to be marching along with confidence and vigor. This is such a likable tune, I can't help but rate it high. (9/10)

6. "The World We Really Want" (4:02) another awesome tune that conjures all sorts of nostalgic music from the R&B of the late 60s (think: Persuaders' "It's a Thin Line [Between Love and Hate]") and--bonus--it has a great lyric! (9/10)

7. "Renewed World" (3:17) an instrumental of mixed (and--you betcha--familiar) themes strung together into a happy disco song. (8/10)

8. "We Are Not Alone" (3:52) A blues guitar opening turns down and into a more somber and pensive harp-based song about drone-based spying. At 1:40 it ramps up again into the blues rock power structure, but then quells back into a classical guitar and cello and "flute" (synth) chamber piece. The second singing verse uses the same scaled back soundscape as previously. The blues-rock guitar soloing section is kind of like the chorus, I guess. Interesting, creative song. (8.5/10)

9. "Triangle Of Power" (5:01) another very stage-friendly theatric song about the three superpowers (USA, CHINA and Russia). Male vocal ensemble work is almost barbershop-like but, again, more flexible like a Broadway musical. Clever with nice guitar work but straying farther from prog-appropriate and getting more into the cabaresque. (8/10)

10. "Uneasy Truce" (4:31) a slow, almost Jan Hammer jazz fusion song with some lyrics about the fear of fighting over their new found home and its resources. A little slow and plodding until the third minute's ramp up for solo exposition. But then it goes back to the Hammer-esque synth dominated jazz-blues stuff. (7.5/10)

11. "Invasion" (3:52) comes across as a Three Dog Night or Tom Jones power song. Nice performances by the instrumentalists. Unfortunately, the vocal is a little over-the-top and becomes annoying. I'm ready for some straightforward prog! (7.5/10)

12. "Wistful Waves" (5:37) a very pretty, almost classically "orchestra" supported piece that has a GALAHAD or JOHN HOLDEN Neo Prog feel to it. Now THIS is what I've been waiting for! I even love the multi-voiced (like The Association's "Cherish") monotone vocal. Great organ-backed Gilmour-ish guitar solo in the fifth minute. The best song on the album--and a true prog rocker. (10/10)

13. "March Of Tides" (5:50) has a very Thomas Thielen/David Bowie feel to it--especially the lead vocal in the first section. Dick Dale bass line with Arp synth soloing over the top. Then a piano-based stripped down section over which the vocal picks back up. Not the greatest end to the album or story--either lyrically or musically. (8/10)

The stylistic cornucopia gets a little irritating over the course of 40, 50, and 60 minutes. I love the creativity and the story but, Hey, guys! This should be made into a Broadway musical!

Four stars; a solid, highly enjoyable contribution to prog world and a welcome addition to any prog lover's music collection.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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