Patience And Perseverance
posted on 8/2010 By:
The new project of former Skeletonwitch bassist Eric Harris, Gypsyhawk trades that band's blackened take on thrash for a vintage 1970s stoner haze. Given the artwork and logo design, I was expecting a more prog- and space-rock-tinged effort, but Gypsyhawk sticks mostly to the guitar-driven hard rock of Thin Lizzy, rather than to the orchestral interplay of Yes or the dreamy driving futurism of Hawkwind.
While there are a few rare moments of spaciness, Lizzy remains the predominant influence—twin-lead harmonies abound amongst proto-metallic guitar-rock riffs; Harris' smoky voice falls into the same register as Lynott's roguish lilt; the same giddy shuffling bounce that lifted many of Thin Lizzy's greatest moments propels many of the 'Hawk's best tunes. There's even a track called "For Those Who Love The Lizz" that openly, gleefully and expertly apes Thin Lizzy in all their trademark glories--Gypsyhawk is not ashamed of its lineage. (Or Lynott-age. Or Lizzy-age. Or whatever.)
Good artists borrow, and great artists steal—we’ve all heard that maxim. All of Patience And Perseverance is Lizzy-worship, without question, but in some semblance of defense, it’s at least Lizzy-worship looking backwards, filtered through the years between then and now, through the myriad other bands Thin Lizzy influenced. This Lizzy-ness is often imbued with a more metallic energy, a stoner-metal stoutness and a drive that post-dates the original, and yet it’s all still infinitely recognizable as an outright homage to its primary source, just updated with a blend of those days, these days and the ones between.
All in, I like Gypsyhawk more than I like Skeletonwitch, although this band suffers from that band's primary problem, which is a lack of standout material that pushes them up to the upper levels of their style. Gypsyhawk is a solid stoner outfit, good for a good time and a good spin, but only a few tracks are memorable, and the undeniable (and undenied) Thin Lizzy-ness of it all becomes its sole identity, placing it somewhere between expert tribute band and wildly unoriginal original act. As I listen to Patience And Perseverence, I enjoy it enough, but when it's done, all it really accomplishes is that it makes me want to spin Black Rose or Johnny The Fox. It’s a good start, but some different spin, some divergence from the Phil Lynott blueprint would be nice and will be necessary to continue further growth.
As it stands now, Patience is an expert knock-off, but it’s not an excellent knock-out
Register to post comments.