Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gasoline Heart - Thanks For Everything (Album Review)

For all of the "mixed genre" bands out there, there aren't too many who can effectively pull off the right blending of 1980s rock and 1990s alternative. Believe me, I've heard many who have tried and unfortunately failed. Gasoline Heart on the other hand, have absolutely nailed down the mixture perfectly. This is none more explosively evident than on their newest release, Thanks For Everything. Mixing the chugging downstrokes, world weary lyrics and razor guitar tones of the 90s with the huge choruses, bouncing bass lines and occasional keyboard work of the 80s, Gasoline Heart have created an album of upbeat musical moments that guarantee you'll be singing and dancing along in no time. Just don't dwell too much on the lyrics or you're dancing shoes might find themselves pointed towards the nearest bar stool before you know what hit you. Frontman Louis DeFabrizio embodies the "lovable loser" character pretty effectively in his songwriting, but his impassioned vocals will have you rooting for him each time he sings of a getting beat down by either a girl, the world, himself or a combination of all of the above. When he sings, "I am the butt of all my own jokes" in "Kiss Your Dreams Hello," you might just conclude that it works like a thesis for the entire album. But like all good fighters, it's not about how many times you get knocked down, it's how many times you get back up. With 10 great tracks full of getting back up, Thanks for Everything ends up being a surprisingly inspirational album.  

Gasoline Heart self-describes as "sloppy rock & roll" and with the couple of false starts found on Thanks for Everything, you just might think they mean it. However, what is made pretty clear, pretty quickly, is the fact that these guys know how to channel the attitude and energy of rock into powerful performances of growling guitars, punchy bass and bombastic drumming. The songwriting is pretty on point as well, with that 80s/90s mix I mentioned earlier playing out in the verse/chorus structures of most of their songs. This merging is felt most strongly in "Left for Dead," "Everything Matters," "Counterfeit Rock & Roll" and "Peppermint." It's like Gasoline Heart somehow, within the same song, weaves together Tom Petty and Pedro The Lion, Springsteen and Pearl Jam, Bryan Adams and Soul Asylum... okay, you get the picture. Even when they slow things down a little, the atmospherics of "Kiss Your Dreams Hello," "Susan & the Oak" and the enthralling album closer "Thanks for Everything" showcases an impressive palette of moods and emotions that aren't usually found on these unpolished, go for broke, almost garage-rock sounding types of recordings. But Gasoline Heart pull it off in a totally authentic, believable way that makes you think these guys aren't far from a bigger audience and more mainstream exposure. It's not that they're that inclined to those things, it's just that they're that good.    

Pre-orders for the vinyl and cd versions of Thanks for Everything start shipping on 7/24 and they can still be ordered HERE. The digital version of Thanks for Everything can be ordered directly from the band HERE.

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