Review Summary: Wilkes-Barre is at it again; featuring members of bands well-versed in the hardcore scene including Cold World’s guitarist, Alex Russin, on vocal duties, Gypsy are here to bring you what may be one of the most overlooked releases of 2012.
First things first: Gypsy sounds a lot
like Jawbreaker. In fact, anyone who has ever listened to the hugely influential emo band (especially Dear You
or other later works) will be instantly reminded of Blake Schwarzenbach’s airy vocals upon hearing Giant’s Despair
. Luckily, Gypsy’s appeal lies in many areas besides their obvious sonic similarities to Jawbreaker, so let’s not dwell on that fact. Giant’s Despair
is a huge debut from the Wilkes-Barre band, combining all the appeal of 90s emo with immense guitar riffs, booming bass tones, and ample vocal hooks.
Highly regarded punk producer, Will Yip (who recently worked with bands such as Title Fight, Dead End Path, and Mother of Mercy), did wonders for the album, giving it a truly distinct and powerful sound. Tones of each instrument weave in and out of one another in harmony, creating an atmosphere that seems to melt through the listener’s skin and straight into his or her bones. Driving, melodic leads seep in through one ear, while Alex Russin croons into the other. Groovy guitar solos complete with “wah-wah” make occasional appearances throughout the album on tracks like “Count Your Blessings” and “Unconditionally Dependent.” Guitar solos are surprisingly and unfortunately scarce in current emo/punk, and the classic rock-loving 8th grader in me misses them dearly. It is refreshing to hear Gypsy inject such a tired and true aspect of rock into a genre that is often complacent; nearly anyone can start a punk band and play a few power chords, but Gypsy prove that they have the musical prowess to transcend adequacy.
is an easily accessible album. At just under 30 minutes, each of the ten tracks is fairly concise, and memorable to boot. Whether it be the unforgettable chorus in “(Non) Fiction,” the dark, reverberating guitar riffs in “All Along,” or the distorted backup vocals in “Selfish Blues,” each listener will walk away from the album with something different to remember it by. Don’t sleep on Gypsy, because their Six Feet Under debut LP can easily compete with similar releases, such as Basement’s brilliant debut, I Wish I Could Stay Here
, and Title Fight’s ever-popular Shed
. While Gypsy may or may not get the same amount of recognition as the aforementioned bands, Giant’s Despair
is more than enough proof that they are indeed worthy of sharing the stage.