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Gygax - Critical Hits

Lovers of Eric Harris' brainchild Gypsyhawk will love Gygax.If you got the chance to check out Gypsyhawk when they were around, you may have succumbed to their mighty groove. I know I did. Their brand of Thin Lizzy-esque, 70's hard rocking made for some of the better music of the whole retro craze that burned through metal acts a few years ago. Luckily for us, from the ashes of that outfit comes a second iteration of OG goodness from the mind of bassist/vocalist Eric Harris. Joined by his erstwhile co-hort Bryant Throckmorton (guitar), Eric has assembled a new quartet of rockers around a core love of fantasy literature and role-playing games, Gygax.

This debut album, Critical Hits (nice), is fantastic, with all of the best bits of inspired jamming from Gypsyhawk taken to the next level of custom van-rocking glory. One of the most telling aspects of the sound is the classic twin guitar attack of Throckmorton and [the oh-so-appropriately named] John Lizzy. There's some sweet, sideburn-heavy vibes here and tracks like World Breaker, Draw Breath, and The Hunter's Heart showcase the might of Throckmorton and Lizzy in galloping rockers that threaten to flare out your skinny jeans to Travolta-esque proportions. And don't discount the fuzzy basswork of Eric Harris whose smoky crooning evokes the great Philo himself. If you don't dig this stuff, you just don't dig rock and roll, man.

The Bottom Line: This is plain and simple, kick-ass, rock and roll in the Thin Lizzy mould. If you were a fan of Gypsyhawk, that spirit continues in Gygax. But if you're new to the band, and dig old school grooves when hard rock was hairy and the bands were hairier, this is your jam. So, twist turn it up!

- Genghis fantasizes (way more than he should) about owning a 70s custom Chevy van...

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