Gypsyblood – Cold in the Guestway

written by: April 4, 2011
Gypsyblood - Cold in the guestway album cover Release Date: April 12, 2011


Gypsyblood does a great job mixing numerous genres and influences into a nicely distorted, full-assault on lo-fi bands on the Sargent House debut Cold in the Guestway.

The opener “Take Your Picture” is an all-in-one idea of what Gypsyblood explores on the rest of the album. Driving bass lines, strong almost surf-rock guitar riffs, distorted vocals that function more as an instrument themselves than as a vehicle to deliver the songs lyrics and a loud chorus that barrages listeners with a wall of sound culminate into a shoegaze explosion.

The first half of the album is dance and post-punk inspired.

The second track “In Our Blood” employs a heavy guitar riff to guide and carry the song and showcases the group’s diversity not only in playing style, but in vocals as well, which sound like a hardened punk rock singer’s. This quality is consistent throughout the album, especially on “2-4-6 In the Dark,” where listeners are introduced to the deep and low tone of the singer’s voice on this Joy Division-inspired track.

On top of all of shoegaze and dark punk, Gypsyblood brightens up the sound on “Song Called Take 2,” which slows down the album. The guitars are a few simple chords strummed slowly throughout, with small leads and bass lines sprinkled on top. The vocals on this track are whispered in a way that so effectively creates a new sound, listener’s might think they’re hearing an unreleased Brian Jonestown Massacre song.

The brighter mood continues on “Superstition,” creating the pinnacle of dance punk on the album.

With its combination of Artic Monkey-style energy (with less tongue-in-cheek lyrics) and the occasional surf-rock riff, “Superstition” is a great example of Gypsyblood’s ability to take qualities from different genres and create unique music. The first half of this album literally ends on a good note.

The interlude that separates the two-part album is composed of simple acoustic guitar loops, maracas and beat keeping claps. The second half of the album is where the drums and energy increase.

My R.K.O. Is M.I.A.” is the first song to pick up after the interlude. It starts with what sounds like a lifted riff from rock songs that are played gutted and inside out for listener’s rocking pleasure. This energy is most prominent in the faster songs like “When I Was a Boy” and “Manofstates,” which both have an aggressive feel reminiscent of No Age.

The last three songs on this album combine a heavy Pavement influence, but still pack Gypsyblood’s talent into a nice album-closing punch. “Hey Gloria” is where Gypsyblood uses single note guitar riffs over distorted melodies that repeat throughout the song, keeping listeners interested. Then, on the last song of the album “Brighter Futures,” Gypsyblood takes that Pavement sound further and pairs it with a Joy Division playing style.

By dabbling in surf-rock riffs and keeping the lo-fi warm and soft instead of crunchy and abrasive, Gypsyblood creates an amazing mix. The group also explores dynamic volume, vocal and genre shifts on each song, and surprisingly none fall flat.

Gypsyblood Cold In The Guestway tracklist

  1. “Take Your Picture”
  2. “In Our Blood”
  3. “2-4-6 InTheDark”
  4. “A Song Called Take”
  5. “Superstition”
  6. “Dirty Thieves”
  7. “Man Of States”
  8. “When I Was A Boy”
  9. “My R.K.O. Is M.I.A.”
  10. “Endless Summer”
  11. “Hey Gloria”
  12. “Bright Futures”