With their previous efforts, Gatsby’s American Dream have taken on creating musical interpretations of grand concepts; 2003’s Ribbons & Sugar‘s lyrical content was largely based around George Orwell’s Animal Farm, while the band’s last masterpiece, Volcano, was meant to chronicle the story of Pompeii, referring to several literary works along the way. On their most recent self-titled effort, Gatsbys decides to travel down a less metaphorical road and make the theme of their record a little more apparent. After listening to only the first few tracks, it’s clear that vocalist Nic Newsham’s words are expressions of disdain towards the music industry. The only problem is that it’s too clear, throughout the entire album. The band leaves no room for guessing, making the obvious repetition of disgust for greedy record labels and fake scenesters a bit irritating.
But you know what? I don’t give a shit! The music on this album kicks ass! Screw what the shallow reviews say about Gatsby’s American Dream‘s lyrics. The fact is, they sound better than ever. And last time I checked, that’s the reason why I listen to music in the first place. The groove and rhythm of Volcano returns in full-force for this record; guitarist Bobby Darling’s guitar riffs are dancey as ever, and bassist Kirk Huffman’s back-up gang vocals and Rudy Gajadhar’s fantastic drumming accompany it all perfectly. The official addition of Kyle O’Quin as keyboardist is also a welcome change. The cohesion of all five guys shows best on the album’s second track, “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” (my personal favorite). Fans of Gatsby’s will stay fans after listening to this record. And for those of you who aren’t yet familiar with the band, then this album (as well as any other) is a perfect first listen.
The only big problem I have with the band is what seems to be a grim outlook on their future. After reading For The Sound‘s recent interview with Bobby, I’m scared that we won’t be seeing much more of the band in the future. I hope for everybody’s sake that the band stays together for as long as possible. These guys have demonstrated their capabilities as an album-producing powerhouse, creating three amazing full-lengths that just get better every time.