Loud Loop Press Review: Gypsyblood “Cold In The Guestway”
For a debut record, Gypsyblood‘s Cold In The Guestway seems to, no pun intended, hit all the right notes. Elements of ragged guitar rockery and noisy bedroom pop are tightly weaved together on Cold In The Guestway. And yet perhaps the band’s biggest accomplishment is that the record, while it does at times throwback to the early 90′s alternative-rock-era, doesn’t sound angsty or take itself too seriously. Among the thick guitar phrases and punchy percussion is a perfect amount of lightheartedness that keeps the music lively and infectious.
When the double guitar attack of “Take Your Picture” blasts out of the gate, the chugging riffs sound like they’re being beamed straight from a 1993 airing of MTV’s 120 Minutes. But when the band’s dual vocalists and guitarists of Adam James and Kyle Victor enter with their elder statesman-like delivery, which reminiscent of …Trail of Dead’s Conrad Keely and even has a bit of an Amanda Palmer-esque bite, you’ll know this is not your uncle’s grunge.
No, Gypsyblood like to keep it simple – real simple. Most of the songs on Cold In The Guestway are only a few chords. But when they play those chords, they play them loud. They play them abrasive. They play them with fire. That’s why their music occasionally has that alternative, using the ’90s definition of the word, feel.
But Gypsyblood add in a few of their own nuances that are enough separate themselves from other modern bands who are going for the same effect (see: Yuck, new Pains Of Being Pure At Heart).
On “My R.K.O. Is M.I.A,” the chorus is littered with a high-pitched “Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba” vocal line that is something straight out of Muppet Babies. It’s fun, carefree moments like this that really make Cold In The Guestway much more than just a throwback.
“In Our Blood” rattles from the start with a driving backbeat from drummer Chris Alvarez, but eventually gives way to a Pixies-ish solo that’s more warm than flashy. A massive feedback-fueled racket propels “When I Was A Boy,” but the vocals cut through the noise and bring a balance of melody to the punky take.
The record isn’t all pedal-to-the-floor rock, however. “Dirty Thieves” is a drunken acoustic ditty that sounds like the result of passing a bottle around a campfire, and “Superstition” features a smooth and nearly funky groove from bassist Ryan White and reveals itself to be the album’s most hook-filled track.
Cold In The Guestway may not be the reinvention of the wheel. Rather, Gypsyblood take that wheel and bend it and shape it in all directions, but maintain the wheel’s integrity. Their sound has a sense of familiarity to it, especially for those that grew up in the alt-nation of the ’90s, but the band have added enough of their own touches to avoid being rehash of bands that were in style the same time as slap bracelets.
Purchase and/or stream Cold In The Guestway right now at Gypsyblood’s Bandcamp page.