Easy Street Records

Gypsyhawk - "Revelry & Resilience"



Revelry & Resilience

By Rick Friel

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“So calm down. Don’t freak out. Live in the moment, now”

How about a new band? How about a new album? How about a real rock band? Huh? Want that? I do.

I read about Gyspyhawk online last year. The comedian Don Jamieson said they sounded like Thin Lizzy. Wow - wait. You don’t hear that often. So I went to Easy St. Queen Anne (so sad that it’s gone. That legendary building. How could they? Chase? So awful. That was the original Tower Records! Where I bought Little Queen. TKO. So many cool albums. It just kills me it’s gone now. I just gotta take a moment. At least it went out in style with Troy Nelson proposing to Mackenzie Mercer as the doors shut for the last time. An engagement blessed by Rock 'n' Roll, and of course the woman by the counter came out and helped me find their one copy of Revelry & Resilience. That’s why it’s a great store by the way and why we all need to support the West Seattle Easy St. store and all the little independent record stores out there.

I’m so glad I got it. This album rocks.

It’s like Thin Lizzy in all the best ways; two killer guitar players, amazing guitar solos, tough bass playing and drums going off, pounding non-stop with drum rolls, songs that are more stories than just rhymes. And the singing? So much like the later Phil Lynott around the Chinatown/Renegade/Thunder And Lightning era; great era. Eric Harris has a bit of Phil in his soul but this isn’t a tribute or corny or retro or anything other than Gypsyhawk. I’m a fan now. Got a new band.

I know they kick ass live. I can tell.

It’s pretty stunning to hear guitar playing like this from anyone in 2013. Everyone used to do guitar solos when I was a kid in the '70s. You hardly hear ones now except for Slash. Thanks to Slash for keeping the lead guitar alive in the mainstream! He’s out there.

There are many greats that I love like Michael Schenker but they aren’t on TV for people to see and hear. Slash is. My hope is that soon Gyspyhawk will be too. Andrew Packer and Erik “Ron Houser” Kluiber play guitar like I want to hear. In the vein of Lizzy, Scorpions, Motörhead. They play it hard. Tons of great solos. I am a guitar freak. I love a good guitar solo. I grew up loving Ace Frehley, listening to every solo. These guys bring it. Every song. Especially on “Overloaded" and “Night Songs From The Desert”. I love it. It’s so nice to hear a new band rock. Not modern rock. Alt whatever. No. This is Hard Rock. All my 40-something friends, come out of hiding…it’s time to buy a new album. This one. Listen. Turn “The Red Wedding” up. Laugh because it’s been so long, hasn’t it?

This guy Ian “P.P. Rider” Brown. He plays so good on the drums. Man! Drum fills. Double time. All over the drums. No one does this anymore. He does.

Why did people stop playing like this?

It would be like if everyone stopped eating pizza and only ate foie gras. I would rather have pizza.

I keep going back to Thin Lizzy in a good way. This guy reminds me of Brian Downey from Lizzy. I’ve never thought that about any drummer before. The whole album rocks.

Hinging on chaos with “State Lines” where the guitars & drums hit me so hard, I think that’s it, it's over and the album ends on the perfect cover, “Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer. No way. Are you kidding me? One of my favorite 45s from when I was a kid. Brand new again done so right. Someone yells, “Smoke weed!” It’s a great way to end a great album. One of my top 10 records of last year. It’s so refreshing to find a new band like Gypsyhawk to get excited about.

Put this on at your next party in between your favorites. Crack a cold one, shake your head, smile. Be lost in the moment. I was tonight as I listened to this again. I was on the seventh song before I thought, "oh I gotta review this!" Good music will do that. It sounds great in my truck too.

“I hope you all know what I’m talking about."

Longtime Seattle rocker Rick Friel (Shadow, Friel's Comet, The Rockfords), writes reviews of his favorite vinyl - past and present - for our new column, "Friel's Bin Spins!"

Check out Rick Friel's blog here.

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