Gatsby's American Dream
Gatsby's American Dream


4.0
excellent

Review

by STFDood84 USER (8 Reviews)
August 11th, 2006 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


"Where are the hooks?"

The above quote, perhaps in various different ways, was uttered by some hapless major-label executives to Gatsby's American Dream during their search for a new record label a few years ago. Anyone who's actually listened to the Seattle quintet's quirky pop-punk-meets-prog-meets-dance-rock knows exactly how far that dude's head was up his own ass, to put it bluntly. And quite apparently, the erstwhile morons and their typically commericialize-everything attitudes pissed GAD the f*ck off. This is blatantly obvious when listening to GAD's new self-titled record, their 3rd proper full-length and an all-out indictment of the music industry as a whole.

Oftentimes, a self-titled record tends to be either a band's first album or a record intended to make a statement, re-affirming a sense of purpose or direction for the band in general. And make no mistake, the latter obviously takes precedence here. Gatsby's is making a statement here, eschewing almost completely their prior lyrical fascination with high-school/Orwellian literature that made up much of [i]Ribbons And Sugar[i] and Volcano in favor of telling the musical establishment and label cronies, with their well-known proclivities towards screwing their artists out of as much as possible, to f*ck themselves. "It would be too easy making 10%/off the tours we book for you/So we figure we'll take as much as we can because it's not up to you" is only one of the poignant quotes (this one from Badd Beat) that sums up GAD's feelings perfectly on this release. Basically, read the Sputnik headline "Hawthore Heights leaves Victory", put it to good music and drippingly-sarcastic twists, and you have this album's lyrical theme in a nutshell. The album is certainly more aggressive at points, with several gang-shout vocals contributed liberally throughout most of the songs as well as showcasing even more angular guitar work and mathy drumming, while the flipside is that this is probably the album the major labels always wanted from GAD to begin with. The dancy parts are dancier, the hooks are stronger than they've ever been, and Nick Newsham's perfect whiney/calm croon traverses quite well between laid-back singing and full-on angry shouts.

Musically, it's similar to Volcano only improved upon. Bobby Darling carries the guitar and co-production duties quite well for one dude, filling out the sound with no problems. His preference for playing second-fiddle to Rudy Gajadhar's insanely tight drumming is one of GAD's most striking aspects. The riffs never get too techy or lose sight of the song for the sake of being tech, but he can subtly rip a bit when no one's looking. He's kinda like the Daron Malakian of the pop-punk genre, if you will. Rudy needs no real plugging... the guy is certainly the most schooled member of the band technique-wise, and the band would kinda suck without him ripping his crazy Dillinger-meets-disco time signatures. He doesn't have as many awe-inspiring moments as he did on Volcano (like the bridges from Badlands or Theatre), but he throws in more than enough angular prettiness and dance-beat madness while outplaying most other drummers in popular music today. Kirk's bass interplays tightly with Darling's riffage to keep it all together, but it's the times where his lines are the main draw (Margaritas And Cock is a great example) that he really shines. But most surprisingly is the higher prominence of keyboards on this record, especially in songs like Filthy Beasts and We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. It adds a crazy, evil carnival-like tension to some of the proceedings that only complements the wonderful weirdness of GAD.

The strongest aspects of the album are the same throughout much of their other ones - the striking pop sensibilities intermined with the impressive technical ability and angular weirdness. Pop-punk meets Rush meets Dillinger, in a way. Not many bands can do all of that well, if at all. It's all pretty fresh and quite interesting for a pop-punk band to constantly push the boundaries of an admittedly stale, cookie-cutter genre. There aren't any bands that sound much like them, and for a first-time listener, you can't really go wrong with this record.

Gatsby's American Dream is:

Nick Newsham - Vocals
Bobby Darling - Guitar
Kirk Huffman - Bass
Kyle O'Quin - Keyboard
Rudy Gajadhar - Drums

OVERALL RATING: 4 (Excellent



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user ratings (111)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Wildcatforever
August 11th 2006


441 Comments


Good review, I like there other stuff and this was hyped to be good so I'll check it out.

STFDood84
August 11th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I actually had no idea this even was coming out until I checked a review from Decoymusic. I got this along with Slayer's Christ Illusion and Unearth's III today... they're all pretty kickass. But I was definitely super-psyched about this one.

204409
Emeritus
August 11th 2006


3996 Comments


Uhhh, have you heard Ribbons and Sugar? I could bet that if you haven't it'll change your impression of this album.

STFDood84
August 11th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ribbons is the one album I haven't heard in entirety. I'll have to get it off iTunes cuz none of the crappy FYE/Stawberries around here carry it. I'm guessing you're not digging this one?

204409
Emeritus
August 11th 2006


3996 Comments


I haven't heard this yet, but considering the way you talk about Volcano and how this is a musical improvement makes me think that unless a listener starts chronologically and moves through their catalogue, they're going to use their first GAD album as the measuring stick for all the others, which may ignore the awesomeness of Ribbons and Sugar.

STFDood84
August 11th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's very similar to Volcano, but the guitar is much more prominent in most of the songs ("Looks Like The Real Thing" is phat), the keyboard puts some crazy weird ambiance in some of the songs, and their influences just seem to meld together more smoothly... it's not quite as all over the place and has a little more structure in some spots, but it's still not conventional by a long shot. When I listen to Ribbons I'll probably put a few changes in there. I actually figured you would've had this one covered already :lol:

Kage
August 11th 2006


1172 Comments


That's a fucking awesome-ass album cover. I don't like the band though.This Message Edited On 08.11.06

Cygnus Inter Anates
August 11th 2006


721 Comments


I saw this in the store today and was sad that they didn't have the other albums.

STFDood84
August 11th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I never see Ribbons, Why We Fight, or Land Of Lost Monsters anywhere in a store. Someone should review the other ones... *cough DFelon cough*

Nath
August 12th 2006


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"There aren't any bands that sound much like them"

I actually find their apprentice seattlians 'Forgive Durden' to sound very similar. Either way, I'm really digging this album, I've got Ribbons & Sugar, Volcano and this and the self-titled album is definitely my favourite, with other two tying in second on the awesomeness-o-meter.

The moral of the story, GAD are sex.

204409
Emeritus
August 12th 2006


3996 Comments


Hey! I did review Ribbons and Sugar. In the Land of Lost Monsters is just an EP and Why We Fight is way more pop punk than the new stuff. More Rufio, less Panic at the Disco. Think of it that way.

Abaddon2005
August 15th 2006


684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Eh I think you'll probably like it more than Volcano Dfelon.

STFDood84
August 15th 2006


179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm diggin' it more than Volcano. The lyrics are better, it's more well-rounded and the songs are longer without losing GAD's element of surprise. "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" is so damn catchy... should be a single.

CushMG15
October 8th 2006


1803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I totally forgot about this cd, I think I'm going to go pick it up.
This is a great review.

CushMG15
December 25th 2006


1803 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The background vocals on this cd really add a lot, I think.

Otisbum
December 25th 2006


1912 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" is so damn catchy... should be a single.

It's my 2nd favorite song by them, next to Theatre (of the ones I've heard).

StrizzMatik
March 27th 2007


3229 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I wonder if DFelon listened to this yet...

DWittisarockstar
December 6th 2007


1501 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been digging this a lot lately. I wish I could find any of there other stuff.

And yeah, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale is an amazing song, my favorite on this album.

SnackaryBinx
September 29th 2008


2309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

after listening to this more I've set this up to a 4.
Ribbons and Sugar and Volcano are better than this though.
I'm such a rampant fanboy whore for these guys.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
October 28th 2008


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I need their other two albums, but this is great



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