I don't know what it is, but I've totally changed my mind on the whole "retro" thing. I know it's nothing new, (and that many artists may be offended at what seems like dismissive pigenholing) but I used to get all bent out of shape about people making music, movies, or whatever kind of media/art that was an obvious homage to - or, in some cases, outright ripoffs of - what has come before. But I was wrong - or at least painting with a broad brush.
There's a distinct difference between someone aping another's art in a desparate cash grab, and those that simply wear their influences proudly on their sleeves. Which isn't to say the latter people don't bring something original to the mix. In fact, that's what really makes it work best. Case in point, Pasadena rockers Gypsyhawk hit the mark with an album of nothing less than classic rock and roll brilliance. Revelry and Resilience, the band's second studio effort, may evoke the sound of bands like [early] KISS and Thin Lizzy, but the music somehow manages to be loose and ballsy while also sounding mature and comfortable in its place; it's all the whiskey-soaked fun of old school rockin' with the tight, technical approach of modern metal. The best example of their abilities is the awesome song Frostwyrm that's got the melodic warmth of something like Badfinger's No Matter What with an Iron Maiden-esque harmonized guitar solo section midway through (courtesy of Andrew Packer & Erik Kluiber) that's like finding bacon in a chocolate bar. Brilliant.
The Bottom Line: Don't make the mistake of dismissing Gypsyhawk as another retro band recycling what's already been done. This is a quartet with an old school sensibility that knows what makes good rock and roll inside and out. So grab a beer, spark up, and crank that fucking music.
Tracks to Make You Throw Away Your Skinny Jeans: Overloaded, Frostwyrm, 1345 & State Lines
- Genghis is working on growing a giant moustache...