Halfway To Gone
Second Season


4.8
classic

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
July 31st, 2011 | 23 replies | 6,700 views


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Centered around massive, yet groovy riffs and omnipresent blues undertones, this is one of the most notable heavy rock albums of the last decade.

It's a rare case when the cover describes the album so aptly. A huge gorilla holding a bottle of whiskey comes as an ideal indicative of Halfway To Gone's distinct blend of southern metal, stoner rock and blues. Surprisingly, this proves to be quite a refreshing hybrid of music styles that keeps the New Jersey-based trio endlessly engrossing. Granted, merging blues with heavy rock has taken place before many a time, yet it has seldom been done so effectively. Picking up exactly where their 2001 debut left off, “Second Season” showcases an already self-assured act that is not afraid of taking a risk. Nearly half of the album (5 tracks out of 12) is purely instrumental. While the majority of similar acts might find this tactic impossible to pull off, Halfway To Gone are competent enough to totally embrace it, which provides another quasi-progressive dimension to the disc.

“Second Season” revolves around pummeling, fuzzed-out guitar riffs accompanied with outstanding blues-inspired soloing courtesy of Lee Stuart. In addition, the chord progressions frequently turn out to be non-linear including various tempo changes (“Thee Song,” “Never Comin' Home”). An appropriately massive rhythm section is provided by drummer Chuck Dukehart and bass guitarist Lou Gora who also delivers a vastly improved vocal performance. His timbre coupled with a great sense of melody and whiskey-drenched swagger are just perfect for this kind of high-octane rock music.

The heavy tracks are really diverse ranging from hardcore/punk-inspired, fast-tempo rockers (“Already Gone,” “Escape From Earth”) and stoner groove machines (“Great American Scumbag,” “Never Comin' Home”) to nostalgic retro-rock cuts in “Whiskey Train” and an expertly performed cover of The Marshall Tucker Band, “Can't You See.” The act also doesn't steer clear of straightforward blues compositions. Both “Black Coffy” and “Outta Smokes” are distinctively laid back perfectly evoking the atmosphere of the South, while “Tryptophan” verges into high-on-distortion psychedelic rock territory.

“Second Season” is one of several albums recorded in the last decade that capture the true essence of American hard rock music both in its sound and lyrical content. It's difficult to resist the impression that, after nearly 10 years from its release, most songs included in the disc feel like classics containing numerous quotable lines. Being arguably the zenith of the band's consistent discography, “Second Season” comes as a truly inspired record that easily stands out in the heavy rock genre.



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user ratings (4)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Never Comin' Home (live):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQtJF7ZV1fo

Digging: Dog Fashion Disco - Sweet Nothings

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
July 31st 2011



20014 Comments


Good review Greg.

Listened to this the other day, great stuff.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



5921 Comments


Fixed the tracklisting on the discog. Will read later.

Digging: Essence Beyond - Carnivalism

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Thanks Jamie. More people should give this disc a spin.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



8318 Comments


Nice review Greg, I'm gonna look this up, although not right away (probably) because my dayjob is sucking away most of my time, a very special lady is moving away in a month's time, and, well, it's summer. Long story short, I'm simply lacking time.

Scoot
July 31st 2011



17681 Comments


Hmm, not much notoriety around this. Checking out.

Digging: Unjust - Glow

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

...a very special lady is moving away in a month's time...

Hmm. Sounds cool Magnus, I guess. I'm having a totally opposite situation from yours. Quite a lot of days off for me this summer. And the weather sucks around here. So I spend time writing reviews, listening to music etc.

Yeah. It's definitely worth checking out, Scoot.

Jethro42
July 31st 2011



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Man, these guys can play heavy. Another well done, Greg.

Jethro42
July 31st 2011



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love that Thee Song

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

@Styles: Yeah. I know what you mean. I certainly prefer these to big stadium concerts.

Jethro42
July 31st 2011



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My rating looks cheap but it can change

greg84
Staff Reviewer
July 31st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Yeah. It does. ;) It's in the region of 4.5-5 for me. The remaining two albums of HTG are solid 4s imo.

Eskate87
August 1st 2011



959 Comments


props for this review. been listening to these guys for a while now and they indeed kick alot of ass. heavy and groovy.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Sure they do. Thanks man. It's an awesome album you're digging.

omnipanzer
August 1st 2011



21418 Comments


Sounds good, I'll need to try and remember this for my next round of purchases. I'd like to hear it for the "Can't You See" cover alone tbh.

Digging: Grant Lee Buffalo - Fuzzy

Jethro42
August 1st 2011



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thee Song baby. But hey, these guys are so heavy, I have to be in the mood to give it an ear.
true jam m/

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 1st 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

Great American Scumbag, Escape From Earth, Whiskey Train, Never Comin' Home etc. This LP has classic written all over it.

NodScene23
August 9th 2011



264 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty sweet album.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
August 9th 2011



7317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.8

A bit of an understatement. This is ace! I'm glad you gave this one a spin.

Jethro42
August 9th 2011



12377 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another spin?...Another spin.



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