Gazpacho - Get It While It's Cold

Year of Release: 2001
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:02:00

Gazpacho. You'd think by listening to this Norwegian quartet that they got their name from a Marillion song, one which appeared on Afraid Of Sunlight. But no, the band says otherwise, that it derives from the Spanish soup, and was appropriated because they saw the concoction as a similar to the make up of the band. Uh huh. Sure. Okay. Now, not to dis' the band, as I rather like their concoction, but you can't truly tell me that Marillion weren't of some influence here. Well, we'll soon see. Keep Afraid Of Sunlight in the back of your mind - even just the title if you don't know the album.

The band's vocalist "O" -- yes, "O" ... like "H," but further down the alphabet -- lists the band's influences as including Kate Bush, Roger Waters, Radiohead, Ultravox, Tori Amos, Mr. Bungle, Jethro Tull, A-ha and Marillion (ah-ha indeed!). Filling out the line up are Jon A Vilbo on guitars, Thomas Andersen on keyboards, and Roy Funner on bass. You may have noticed that there isn't a drummer mentioned, and unless they brought in an uncredited session drummer... I'm going to guess that they are synthetic.

So, to be perfectly honest, Gazpacho doesn't sound like Marillion exactly, but rather more like Steve Hogarth. Well, I say that, but I really should say, Gazpacho don't sound like classic Marillion - Vilbo doesn't play Rothery-like guitar lines, Anderson's keys don't sound like Kelly's, etc. No, in fact, I'd say, other than a few dashes of Sunlight, Gazpacho have drawn more inspiration from H's Ice Cream Genius and most specifically that album's last track, "Nothing To Declare", which was the closest that H got to Marillion with his solo stuff. And if that isn't a convoluted connection, well...

Anyway, both the first track, "Sea Of Tranquillity" and the second, "Nemo," reminded me of "Nothing To Declare" and if you imagine an album full of "Nothing To Declare" type tracks ... then you have got a reasonably good idea about Get It While It's Cold. Without the lyrics in front of me, "Sea Of Tranquility" makes me think of "A Collection" -- pleasantly sinister -- but his declaration of "nobody, nobody, will ever love you like I do..." could be genuine melancholy, too. That is, once making the Marillion connection, will you see Marillion in everything? Reading further into the press release, my interpretation is at least one that the band has come up with, so... it isn't just me. "Sea..." is accessible enough that you'll find yourself singing along with O -- well, I was at least. Sound effects create the "sea" aspect, as there are bird like chirps. And here's something strange - it results in the same starkness as I just heard on Sentenced's CD, though these bird like sounds are not the cries of loons. It's all subtle and understated, but add something to the piece -- while I seem to overuse this word, moody is apt description.

Vilbo's lightly strummed guitar, Funner's deep, walking bass tones, and Anderson keys (Rhodes, I think) begin "Nemo," a track that makes me think of a cross between Tristan Park and one hit wonders Deep Blue Something ... if H were vocalist for both. Which means it has an Americana/modern rock feel to it. O's vocals break upward with emotion just like H's at the end of chorus ("mira-cu-uls"). Again, because I love the way H sings, I don't find this a problem at all. In fact, this song really could be a big hit on radio I think, played along with Train, for example. Though, is Train already "yesterday's news"?

"Ghost" is a mellow, acoustic track with a nice, slightly jazzy, piano phrase underlying the chorus. The track also reminds me of Joe Jackson's "Stepping Out" in the way vocalist O glides the lyrics of the chorus, like the verses of Jackson's hit. It more impression that anything solid. "Delete Home" is like a bit like a Squeeze track, quirky pop just odd and arty enough to be appreciated by the prog audience.

By contrast, "Sun God" is an often dreamy piece that is, if you can believe it, the one that most strongly feels like an H piece, with a bit of Altered State-period Altered State thrown in (their debut was self-titled). In fact, this track could very well have been on Afraid Of Sunlight (not just because of the word "sun"), slotted after "Afraid Of Sunrise" and before "Out Of This World." Or slotted somewhere on Marillion's most recent release, Anoraknophobia as I also thought of both "If My Heart Were A Ball It Would Roll Uphill" and "When I Meet God."

"The Secret" begins with heavily rhythmic percussion, a wall of keys and guitar, and breathy, restrained vocals from O... very Porcupine Tree actually. There's enough tension created here that you know at some point the song has to explode... but it doesn't. Keyboards and percussion engage in tango like dance, which after few moments, vocals are added, somewhat detached from the rest... that tango is the most interesting aspect to the track, before it becomes a little more dynamic toward the end.

The drum machine becomes most apparent with "Bravo." This piece is quite different from anything else here, other than the O's vocals - again delivered in breathy way, here in a sultry manner. Keys tinkle, giving this a jazzy feel, while acoustic guitar strum in the background. I should say, it's the jazz of smooth jazz not trad jazz. Other percussive effects provide a little seasoning. If you think "Bravo" is a take on "Brave" (or Brave) in any way, it isn't. The synthesized drums are a little thin, and for the first part of the track, it's a little dry. As it builds intensity, it gets better. A Celtic feel is brought into the mix (saving the track in some respects) by means of a violin (and you know how I feel about violins) - here there were guest musicians where tin and low whistles were added to the mix.

All in all, I really like this album. But then, you must know that I have been a long time Marillion, UK-prog fan, so... perhaps that goes without saying. If you find Hogarth's vocals a little thin, you will think the same of Ohme. Check it out.

Though the tracks are available on the band's website as MP3s, and at [at the time I wrote this] you can also buy this CDR from the band (and visit our station #1, where we've included this track as well [not any longer -ed. 2/7/09]). Some interesting informational tidbits gleaned from the press packet: O sang with H at the Marillion Weekend this past April, joining H on "Afraid Of Sunlight."

Sea Of Tranquility (5:14) / Nemo (3:52) / Ghost (5:22) / Delete Home (3:10) / Sun God (4:29) / The Secret (5:37) / Bravo (6:28)

Jan H. "O" - vocal
Jon A. Vilbo - guitars
Thomas Andersen - keyboards
Roy Funner - bass

Get It While It's Cold (2002) (OOP)
Bravo (2003)
When Earth Lets Go (2004)
Firebird (2005)
Night (2007)
Tick Tock (2009)
A Night At Loreley (2010)
Missa Atropos (2010)
London (2011)
March Of Ghosts (2012)
Demon (2014)
Molok (2015)

A Night At Loreley (DVD) (2009)
Night Of The Demon (DVD) (2015)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin NO

Added: September 8th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1483
Language: english


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