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Bomber Goggles - Gyreland CD (album) cover

GYRELAND

Bomber Goggles

 

Crossover Prog

3.90 | 57 ratings

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FragileKings
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have known about Peter Matuchniak's music for a couple of years now ever since he appeared on Marco Ragni's 2016 album "Land of Blue Echoes" and I then got a hold of his two Gekko Projekt albums and his two solo albums. By coincidence, I was listening to them again after a long while when he announced the release of "Gyreland" on Melodic Revolution Records, by his new band project Bomber Goggles. Certainly, I was interested!

As the Bomber Goggles band profile explains, the concept of Gyreland is based on an imagined near-future society that builds itself a home upon the floating plastic debris in the ocean. As you may have seen on YouTube or other sources, the amount of plastic floating in the ocean has become immense, and ocean currents are carrying it into places where the plastic collects and covers broad swaths and bands of the ocean surface. The story of Gyreland recounts how exiles, outcasts and refugees discover a vast amount of plastic waste captured by an ocean current known as the Gyre. They somehow feel it possible to build a new home there upon the debris and they name their new home Gyreland. But as they begin to build, they discover that they have a telepathic ability that allows them to communicate their knowledge to one another without speaking (obviously) and they are able to anticipate each other's actions and thus build much more quickly. Troubles comes soon, however, as Russia, China, and the U.S. take interest in this new colony. At last, an invading army is sent in, but as the soldiers set foot upon plastic ground, they too become imbued with the sense of communal feeling and knowledge and brotherhood.

The album features Peter Matuchniak (g/vo), Vance Gloster (keys/vo), Steve Bonino (b/vo), and Jimmy Keegan (d). Vance plays with Peter in Gekko Projekt, and Steve has appeared on at least one of Peter's solo albums. The music to my ears is very similar to Gekko Projekt, and as the album is a narrative concept, it bears similarity to Gekko Projekt's "Reya of Titan", also a narrative concept. This means that it should be very good music and indeed, if this had been a Gekko Projekt album, I would have said it's their best to date. However, as it is a Bomber Goggles album, I must say that they have started off firmly on two very fine feet on solid plastic!

Though there are no epic tracks on here and the song structures are not overly complex, the musicianship and songwriting is not only excellent, but the band members prove their skill at bending time signatures and exercise their diversity in styles, all the while coming across as very focused and concentrated, as opposed to overreaching and scattered all over the place. In particular, the music of "Building", "Renewed World", and "March of Tides" is really top notch while still keeping a conciseness about each of the tracks. I like one part in "Building" with a tricky time signature where Peter plays first two notes, then those two again plus a third, then those three again plus a fourth, and then all four again plus a fifth. This he repeats over several measures. Indeed, the note progression is building. I like it when the music takes on the theme of the title.

The songs are interesting to follow for the lyrics that tell the story but of course the music is still as important and as well-performed as in the instrumental parts. One of my favourite lyrics appear in "Uneasy Truce" with the chorus: "Lens flare / Cross-hairs / Will they dare? / Warfare / Hardware / And Peace prayers / There's trouble in the air". There's also a cool referencing of lyrics where in the first track they sing "I'll be damned if I'm damned," and later in "Wistful Waves", Peter mildly proclaims, "Well, I'll be damned!" Another bit that caught my attention is the reference to The Ides of March in the final track, which plays homophonetically on the song title "The March of Tides".

There is an indy feeling to this album as there is to Gekko Projekt but at the same time it sounds like prog alumni have come together to make this album. I find the overall quality of the sound and the vast collection of (plastic- wrapped) ear candy makes this album easy to listen to on repeat. Even if one track doesn't have my ears on their toes, by the time the next track comes on I'm, uh, all ears again.

Imaginative. Talented. Unpretentious. Easily addictive. Just damn fine music! Well, I'll be...

FragileKings | 4/5 |

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