Gaskill, Jerry - Come Somewhere

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 163SPV 085-60692
Format: CD
Total Time: 47:55:00

I'm not familiar at all with the music of King's X, so how Jerry Gaskill's solo album Come Somewhere compares, I can't say.

What Come Somewhere is is an alt. rock flavored hard rock release. Well, by alt. rock I mean that which is a mix of roots rock and hard rock, not nu-metal or grunge. And yet, there are also prog rock... well prog rock-ish... hints. I hate to throw bands into a blender - it can get messy if you don't have the lid on properly - but basically, if you were to throw Live, The Beatles (circa White Album; perhaps felt strongest on "Johnny's Song"), Spock's Beard, Toy Matinee and, I suppose, King's X, into a blender... this is what would result. Though, to be honest, the band that came to mind most often is the seemingly short-lived Altered State, who had a "hit" - "Ghost Beside My Bed" - from their self-titled debut and then disappeared after their grunge inflected sophomore release Dos. I thought this mostly on "Johnny's Song;" yes, it's Beatle-eque and Altered State-esque. Don't know who I'm talking about with Altered State? That's okay. It's probably an obscure reference. I've made the reference a few times to prog folks lately and have gotten blank looks. If you think of Spock's Beard and Kevin Gilbert, you'll be on the right page.

Anyway, this review is of Gaskill's solo CD. There are fifteen tracks, most in the 3 - 4 minute range. While it would be misleading to say all songs sound the same, there is something very consistently similar to all the tracks - the same vocal quality or vocal effects mainly, but in some ways, it's hard to tell where one song ends and other begins? is that a new song or a different part of the same song? A look at what track is playing tells you the case. The up-tempo rockers... well, uptempo for the overall, hazy, lazy, distorted, dreamy, style that the tracks all possess... are a little heavier in the guitars, a little crunchier, than Spock's Beard or Gilbert, which gives it that alternative rock flavor. What's interesting is that, though Gaskill's King's X's drummer, drums aren't the dominant instrument here; electric guitars are (and bass), most of which come courtesy of Gaskill's King's X cohort, Ty Tabor. And most of the acoustic guitar playing is Gaskill. Make no mistake, though, drums are definitely present -- listen to the end of "L.A. Flight" where they play the solo right at the end, for example.

The slower tempo pieces ? the mostly acoustic and mostly balladic "No Love" and in the mid-tempo lament "L.A. Flight" - are where the lighter textures come in, mainly through the use of acoustic guitar and sparse arrangements. The album's balance probably skews more towards the latter styles, but it's the rockers that stand out and stick in the mind, and especially "The Kids," "Gallop," and "Face The Day" to name a few.

"L.A. Flight," "Garden Stroll" and "Face The Day" could be, if you're not paying attention, the same song, though different parts. "Garden Stroll" lasts barely a minute and half. And "Face The Day" starts out much grungier (as in dirt), darker... and drums are little more prominent. So, really it's in the latter part of the track that recalls the previous two tracks. These come at different points on the album (5, 9 and 15, respectively).

"All The Way Home" is a country-tinged piece with a bit of twangy guitar - subtly placed - and some nice harmonies. I thought of the Eagles here, actually and Crowded House.

Thematically, the songs all deal with relationships of one type or another. Mostly the male/female kind, but "Johnny's Song" is about kids growing up and on their own. It's another aspect that makes the album feel... well, not only like a concept album, but after it's over, as if you've just listened to one long track.

Despite the references I made, it's probably a little too much alt. rock for a prog fan's tastes. And I think the sameyness gets tiring after awhile, meaning not even the slower tempo pieces are enough to keep the from sounding like... well, as I said, one long track. It's, for me, one of those, "I like it but..." kind of deals. I don't love it and yet I'm fan of all those Gaskill and co. sound like... go figure. Maybe it's because it's just aspect of those bands is used here.

Also released by InsideOut Music America (IOMA 2076-2)

The Kids (3:39) / She's Cool (3:22) / Johnny's Song (2:24) / No Love (4:29) / L.A. Flight (2:24) / Faulty Start (3:13) / All the Way Home (3:29) / Crazy (3:18) / Garden Stroll (1:25) / Walk Alone (3:33) / Every Day (2:53) / Gallop (3:06) / Hello Mrs. (2:40) / I Saw You Yesterday (3:53) / Face the Day (3:48)

Jerry Gaskill - guitar, piano, vocals, drums
Ty Tabor - bass, guitars

Come Somewhere (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: June 20th 2005
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1945
Language: english


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