Drenched in economy beer and pot smoke, Pasadena’s Gypsyhawk materializes from the back of the decrepit van parked in the bad neighbourhood to present their brand of rock and roll with their second album Revelry & Resilience.
The follow-up to 2010’s Patience & Perseverance is a bold statement of a record. With so many metal acts trafficking in the more “extreme” edges of the genre and drilling home the point with snarls and blast-beats, Gypsyhawk unabashedly cuddles the frayed denim vests of bigger, more groove-oriented heavy music.
“Gypsyhawk is four metal dudes playing rock and roll and bringing the party every time they get on stage,” says guitarist Andrew Packer.
Make no mistake about it: there is a rock-hard metal pedigree behind this band and their thrash influences are apparent in the aggressiveness of the demon-kissed guitar licks. Revelry & Resilience is a deafening record as much as it is an enormously amusing record.
Vocalist and bassist Eric Harris ably rides the breakers of guitar from Packer and Erik “Ron Houser” Kluiber, while drummer Ian “P.P. Rider” Brown hammers out unbreakable grooves. Kluiber and Brown are new faces in Gypsyhawk and their influences have helped draw the band away from the proggy soil Patience & Perseverance was planted in.
“On this record, the line-up just clicked; we knew what we want and we knew how to get it. We've really gone for more rock or pop song structures and I think a lot of the record's energy comes from that,” says Harris.
The easier, groovier melodies make Revelry & Resilience a fun and engaging wedge of meat and potatoes rock. Guitars always squeal in the right direction and the riffs are made to survive earthquakes and tsunamis, from the KISS-like enthusiasm of “Hedgeking” to the infectious energy of Johnny Winter’s “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo.”
“Frostwyrm” is dedicated to having a fantastic time, with fist-pumping strains and bold arena rock feel. Then there’s the bottomless journey of “Night Songs from the Desert,” an epic that is steered by cyclical riffing and Brown’s exciting fills.
Gypsyhawk is the sort of band that plays late at night in a dive bar behind a chain-link wall, that “cranks it up to 11” in garages and sleeps on floors, that always smells a little funny and maybe even looks a little funny, that talks role-playing games and nerd stuff over bad coffee at a worse diner - but Jesus H. Christ, can they rock!