Review by Mickey Nicholas,
Photography by Jean-Louis Fressier at Bobital 2016
It’s cold, dark and wet. It’s nearly winter. Heavier coats, thicker jumpers and scarves aplenty. People practically mainline hot chocolate to stave off the winter blues. It’s not what I would call appropriate weather to be listening to cross-channel folk-rock family group GadZukes’ E.P. Fight the Silence. I don’t mean to say it can’t be listened to in the bitter months, rather that it deserves to be listened to in warmer weather, with bluer skies and shorter trousers. Maybe flip-flops. It’s made up of five tracks, and is an excellent showcasing of GadZukes’ musical talents, foot-tapping their way into ear-worm status with folk-rock anthems, edgy pop-rock hand-crafted for top-down driving and acoustic-fed dream-weaving.
The first song, Ignite, is an indie-rock song that needs a little scene setting. Imagine, it’s spring break, you and four friends have decided to spend the holidays taking a road trip to an old hunting cabin. It’s a hot day- not unpleasantly so. You all climb into a sporty number with an open top, don your sunglasses and crank up the radio and feel the breeze running through your hair. It’s the song that comes before the creepy gas-station attendant gives you an ominous warning. It’s a driving song. It’s upbeat. It’s what happens when T-Rex and The Libertines have a holiday romance. It’s got a catchy hook, and has bits you can sing along to. A good, solid opener.
The next song Getting It On, stars with a hard rock riff before moving into a catchy female-led track. It’s a little more country-rock than the first track. It moves like the tides, sweeping from mellow moments and building into foot-tapping territory with rapid fire lady-vocals.
Now for something a little different. Track three, In my Dreams is ethereal, atmospheric, a kind of semi-psychedelic folk track with haunting female vocals. It’s a pretty track, sweeping up from gentle to powerful, adding layers over the course of the song. It’s like watching someone build a puzzle, the colours, the shape is easy to see to start with, and as they go the larger picture takes shape. At first listen it comes across as a simple song, but that’s only because it’s so seamlessly structured.
Funk basslines and sing-along “yeah-yeah”s and “ooh”s mark out the fourth song on the E.P. Sweet Aroma. It’s probably the highest energy song out of the five, with it’s clean riffs and harmonising vocals. Folk rock put on it’s anthem suit, and took us out dancing.
Before reviewing Fight the Silence, I was told GadZukes were 40% steampunk. Pirates in the Sky, the last song on the E.P., is a folky, pop-esque rock track that contains that 40%. It’s not any old acoustic track with gears glued on. It’s a story for the most part. Folk-pop swerves into a sort of dream-like narrative, gently winding it’s way into your head with a catchy chorus and acoustic guitar. It’s a good way to end the E.P.
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