I find myself with an album from a band I know nothing about this week. I suppose that is the point of this whole site though, music lovers giving their first thoughts on new bands and albums. This week Gypsyblood was introduced to me with their debut album Cold in the Guestway. I had no idea what to expect when I put this album on to play, and had heard none of the hype that has started coming my way since then. I heard a lot of elements and influences I liked in this band, one of the dominant ones being Modest Mouse, but they definitely added a personality of their own to the mix.
Forged in an apartment during a cold Chicago winter, Gypsyblood’s Cold in the Guestway has recently come to light (April 12 to be precise). The debut album has been getting a lot of attention for duo Adam James and Kyle Viktor. The two have worked together in the past, and it seems their relationship has helped them craft upwards of 30 songs over a couple months. Impressive as that figure is, they distilled that selection to a dozen coherent songs to create Cold in the Guestway. The fuzzy, reverb drenched guitar lines conjures not to distant memories of bands like Saturday Looks Good to Me (and Modest Mouse), while the vocals at times bring forth thoughts of Grizzly Bear.
So how does this album stack up to the hype, you ask? Read on for my take, but more importantly, take a listen for yourself.
Check out the album below!
This album has a flow throughout. It begins with a couple of slower songs and builds in intensity as the album plays through. The feel is very cohesive, and their style comes through at the forefront of the songs. The duo makes good use of tracking to get a big sound from their vocals when they want to, creating a room of people singing backing vocals and bumping that intensity up. The vocals are at times reminiscent of Grizzly Bear, and the guitar has moments that could be right out of a Saturday Looks Good To Me song.
The slow songs on the album left me fairly bored. The fourth track “A Song Called Take 2”left me starting to zone out, as the song started to sound like a jam between two bored friends. Considering these songs were written in Chicago during the winter, boredom could very well have had an effect on Adam and Kyle when writing some of the songs.
After listening to this album a few times through I probably won’t be putting it back on. It has its moments, but ultimately isn’t something that’s fully grabbed me. I wouldn’t complain about someone putting it on, but if I’m the DJ it won’t be making it to the playlist, I’d rather just put on some Modest Mouse.