Cosmic Rock

GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH - "Masters Of Space And Time" Review


- Pat "Riot" Whitaker




"Just give Death a chance!"


But maybe not really, because there's more to life and really, everyone should make it a Life Goal to hear, and ultimately, experience "Masters Of Space And Time", the spectacular new release from Windsor, Ontario's GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH, by way of Kozmik Artifactz. If you are already hip to the band, then you likely know this is their fourth studio offering, and the follow up to the band's well received 2016 album, "Citizens Of Nowhere".


So, if you are an already-down-with-G.C.G. type, it is probably also a safe bet that you have at least an inkling as to the identity of their talented frontman, Al "Yeti" Bones, formerly of such acts as The Mighty Nimbus, Georgian Skull, and Mister Bones. However, no stellar record (and yes, spoiler, this one is most definitely that!) gets made without some fellow conspirators and here, vocalist / guitarist Al's are: drummer Adam Saitti, bassist Darren Brush, keyboardist Mark Calcott, and guitarists, Dustin Black and John Serio. Yes, that's right, three guitarists!


That fact is an aspect worthy of mention too for a triumvirate of fret-tested laborers lends itself to opening up a whole other plane in the aural realm. Speaking of such, these temporal warriors, GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH, fearlessly charge into myriad new dimensions upon, and within "Masters Of Space And Time", when compared to previous album borne journeys. Here and now, our auralnauts take their instrument driven craft into zones that are clearly more traditional, or classic rock and roll influenced... all beginning with the remarkable "City Of Ghosts".  


A brief unfurling comes by means of drums, guitar, and organ for but a moment, and then, those damned guitars! They, and of course, the guys operating them, decide to open them up a bit more with an Iommian lick. Yet, trust me as I tell you this, nothing can prepare the listener for the ballistic salvo of rapid fire riff and organ ordnance that detonates before we are even a full 10 seconds into the track. Landing with enough force to fell an elephant, even this is but a precursor to what is still yet coming as everything falls into place, the groove is loosed, and we all find ourselves now on the move.


Like numerous of these tracks on display, there is an alternating, ever changing delivery of tempos and intensities propelling them. Songs like the superb "Highway Man", a cut where a bounding barrage of beefier music backs a rather intriguing lyrical tale being spun. Emitting a darker vibe all the while, things go from heavy to heavier, and then even heavier yet, while right along with it all, Al's vocals get grittier and more aggressive.


If such is your bag, then there are the incendiary munitions manufactured in the confrontational cut "Crash N' Burn". With a careening deluge of southern doom guitars taking the helm at first, a throat-wrenched, wailing growl from Yeti launches us further in. The rhythm section, where Brush's robust bass lines and Saitti's solid, vigorous percussion is wound tight, both bolster and brace the backside of the song. They only allow things to loosen up for some heady psychedelia looming in the wings near the latter half of the track.


Of course, there are other defined transmissions of lighter qualities in other areas of the album with the best possibly being "Low Cost Of Living High". First submitted by means of an infectiously catchy guitar hook, soon things are getting peppered with a bit of drum flavoring before this meal of bluesy, feel good jamming out gets served in full. Chow down!


Now, the songs that especially resonated well with me personally, the stand outs, if you will, start with "Stranger Desires". This actually may be my favorite song of the eight, partly due to it successfully melding all of the other songs' differing audio styles into this one intoxicating blend. There is an introductory passage that had me getting a bit of a sea shanty feel from the music at first, as if we were out on the rolling waves, in the crisp ocean air seeking adventure. And, we soon find it as the music hits its stride, taking us along for the ride into a number channeling traits I would describe as reminiscent of The Doors, yet darker and more foreboding.


"Into The Sun", introduced by the short "Sun Prelude", is another interesting rendering, one with a Clutch feel to it at times. The music has a rising, uplifting quality about it, the band working as a well lubricated machine winding their way along, and through, the climbing, elevating audio taking place. In unison with that, Al's vocals are contributed with a "scatting" type of singing sometimes, a unique addition where vocalized parts - words i.e. syllables, vowels, are proclaimed in a fusion similar to the music at that precise moment - ala Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop... "In-to-The-Sun, In-to-The-Sun!" repeat, repeat.


Another favorite of mine, and I'd bet anyone else that has heard this record, is the closing title track, "Masters Of Space And Time". In my humble opinion, this grandiose song is an enthralling achievement for the band as it covers so much ground within a nearly nine minute running time. With a slight touch of a Lynyrd Skynyrd-y "I Need You" feel at the start derived from its stirring music, this epic begins gaining momentum before fully engaging itself. Rolling passages of music where chunky riffs, penetrating rhythms, and accentuated keys ooze out in some of this effort's doomiest music yet, Al brings a powerful vocal performance. With the constantly transitioning music being matched by the multifaceted vocals being meted out, this record ends on a magnificent high point to be sure.


Also to be sure, the entirety of "Masters Of Space And Time" is an alluring, adept example of the expert talents within the GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH collective. These principle players and this fundamental sonic doctrine that they've bestowed upon humanity is capable of providing paramount enjoyment. Yes, this is an indispensable essential in this space...  in this time... right now.



GYPSY CHIEF GOLIATH "Masters Of Space And Time" on Bandcamp: