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Gazpacho - Tick Tock CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

4.04 | 479 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Gazpacho's 2009 release is a hard album to get into because it is such a sedated one. The rock sections are all mid-tempo and not very heavy, but sound extremely good nonetheless; unfortunately they are all fleeting, as though Gazpacho gets short-winded just playing a few minutes of bona fide rock music. I also question the progressive factor: There may be extravagantly lengthy compositions, but I see no reason for this, since the arrangements themselves are dull and generally unexciting, but not completely characterless. The piece of nonfiction this concept album is based on, however, beefs up the intrigue for me: Antoine de Saint Exupéry, a French writer and aviator, wrote Wind, Sand, and Stars, a memoir regarding surviving a plane crash in the Libyan Sahara Desert and having to do without food and water. Perhaps it's the intent of the album as it relates to its concept to force the listener to spend long periods of time growing weary and waiting for something to happen- I don't know- but this album is a desert of wearisome monotony with precious few oases of interestingness.

"Desert Flight" A raunchy, harsh guitar kicks off this album. This song has a bit of a U2 feel and sound to it, whether the band is playing loudly or quietly. That said, I don't care for it except for perhaps the vocal melody. Lonely violin, piano and a hot wind conclude this first track.

"The Walk" Sparse instrumentation takes over in this lengthy piece, which features simplistic drumming and acoustic guitar. The mandolin is gorgeous, I think, and fits the timbre of the piece well. I absolutely love the hazy Middle Eastern section, which is so full of grace and character. For the most part, this piece is a beautiful acoustic song that doesn't really go anywhere (not even on a magic carpet), which for me makes the length a tad unjustified. That, however, is the main problem of the forthcoming piece.

"Tick Tock" Subdued and rather dull, this longest piece has the lead vocalist singing long and drawn out notes over fairly sparse instrumentation for the first several minutes. Later, there's some deep choral singing, almost from the throat. The ticking and tocking keep time as the singer croons over piano and bright guitar and bass. The music becomes somewhat heavier with the introduction of gritty electric guitar and thudding bass, yet the drums remain light. Organ and violin ease their way into the mix in a lovely duet, punctuated by pounding drums. Soon a guitar solo ensues, followed by otherworldly atmospheric sounds. The titular tick tocks return, again accompanying a piano. Essentially, I find this a very sleepy track, even though there's some good stuff going on. Nothing strikes me as powerful or interesting, even if I find it all pleasant enough.

"Winter Is Never" Again, this is an agreeable song, but after everything that has come before it, it's superfluous and almost filler.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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