It’s G.A.S.S.time again! It seems to be coming around quickly these days, which is no bad thing. I’m finding myself counting down the days until the first of the Month and the latest G.A.S.S. stuff is out. It’s nice to be excited about music again.
The first new song this time is Honour, it features Courtney Love on lead vocals and Micko Larkin, Ginger’s fellow guitarist in Courtney’s band, on lead guitar. It’s a lively song but it’s the most subdued lead GASS track so far. It’s more Indie Rock than anything either Ginger or Courtney have done. It’s got almost an air of The Smiths to it, mainly down to the jingly jangly lead guitar. The chorus is strong and the song engaging. Courtney and Ginger’s voices work well together. If it was released as a single and given some decent airplay I think it could be a moderate success.
I wonder if ‘In Your Honour’ is a cheeky reference to Foo Fighters or not?
Down The Dip picks things up with a bouncy riff and some gang vocals. It’s very singalongable and foot tappy. Whilst the G.A.S.S project gives Ginger the space and forum he needs to experiment and flex his artistic muscles, it’s nice to have an upbeat, straight forward rock song again.
While Down The Dip sees Ginger back on lead vocals it also heavily features Yolanda Quartney (see last Month) on backing vocals and occasional lead. She shines through with ease. I’d like to see her work on a full time rock project instead of the Americana /Alt. Country she sings with Phantom Limb.
The final new song drops the pace right down. If You Find Yourself In London Town is an acoustic folk song that’s a wry look at life in That London from the viewpoint of a simple Northerner. It’s essentially a warning for someone not quite prepared for the harshness that London brings
At first it felt like a nice enough song but overlong and plodding but after more listens it winds its way into your brain and is a lot more enjoyable. It’s good to see this side of Ginger’s work too. There are ample live recordings of his acoustic sets but not really much actual studio recordings.
The first of the demos is a peculiar song called Melanchoholic. It’s based around a simple, haunting, looped tune that ebbs and flows throughout the song. Building up and fading down. It’s a beautiful but creepy piece of music. There is some singing but it’s so low down in the mix it’s incredibly hard to make much out. Kind of like someone singing in the next room. It's very frustrating
It’s easily the most interesting of the bonus songs that have been offered up so far, maybe even of the whole project. Ginger says that everyone he played it too hated it and that he’ll likely never do anything with it. That’s a travesty in my opinion. I know I’ve said it before about some of the other demos but Melanchoholic is absolutely crying out to be properly recorded and released, maybe as part of the G.A.S.S. thing?
There was something familiar about it that was irking me. Eventually I figured out that it sounds very similar to Bearer Of The Flame by Neoclassical fantasists Dargaard. That song is a good indication of how Melanchoholic could turn out, minus the Dragonlance imagery obviously.
The last demo is Begin From Within which eventually featured on his triple album 555%. At last, a demo of a song that is worth hearing! It’s completely different to the final version. There’s only really the main melody line and the chorus that marries up. The verses seem to have different words and structure and, sadly, the 555% version is completely bereft of bongo’s!
It’s good to see just how reworked a song can become and it’s interesting to see a demo that isn’t just an inferior version of the same song.
4 out of 5 – This is really good, just short of perfect
Best Track: Melanchololic
G.A.S.S. Month 1
G.A.S.S. Month 2
G.A.S.S. Month 3
Here's a video for the Dargaard song. If you've heard Melanchoholic then hopefully you'll see what I mean. if you haven't then have a listen anyway because it's a really good song.