Gatsbys American Dream is:
Nic Newsham - vocals
Bobby Darling - guitars
Rudy Gajadhar - drums/percussion
Kirk Huffman - bass
After the succes of Gatsbys American Dream's (GAD) second release, the original Ribbons & Sugar, a concept album that is based on George Orwell's Animal Farm and featured some excellent musicianship, the band were approached by several major record lables interested in signing the band.
However, though acknowledged for their musicianship, record labels wanted GAD to put aside their signature and (in their genre) unconvential style of songwriting, which featured short songs with no choruses. Instead they wanted the band to write catchy songs with plenty of hooks.
The band, however, wasn't willing to compromise. As some sort of reply the band made the EP 'In the Land of Lost Monsters.'
Needless to say, lyrically the album lashes out at the record companies. Two quotes from 'The Dragon of Pendor' ; "The signal is corrupting, the songs are uninspired, Where's the ***ing chorus" Here it is: But you can't *** with my integrity.'' and "Oh baby give hooks to me! Yeah something big and juicy, that I can sink my teeth into, and I will treat you nice!"
Musically, the album is far from angry. Half of the songs on the album in fact sound rather sad. "I Smell an Agenda" is a slow song that contains a dragging string section and rather than the more upbeat punk guitar riffing found on 'Volcano', the guitar here is slow, pummeling chords and feedback noise. The band continues this feel on the next song ''You Stole My Story", which has some clean, slow, jazz like guitar playing over Nic's emotionally charged vocal delivery, untill an incredible break, where crashing distorted guitars and drums come in over Nic singing "If I try hard enough, I can make myself believe in almost anything."
There's also an interesting slower, ballad-like acoustic version of 'The Badlands' on here. The band went for something of a live feel on this track. Nic's vocals were done in one take, and he slips out of key here and there. It's sort of neat as it isn't just the same track as the electric version found on 'Volcano', though I prefer that one.
The faster and more rocking stuff can be found on here as well. Tracks like 'The dragon of Pendor' and 'A Conversation with the Devil' hint at what kind of sound GAD would
take at its next release 'Volcano', with more swirling, melodic electric guitars and amazing backing vocal harmonies.
On this EP the band really merges musicianship with their lyrics.(Well, they usually manage, but they do it in a rather different way here.) The sound of the slower songs can't be found on any of their other releases and that alone should be worth purchasing this EP for fans of the band.