Review - Gozer Goodspeed, Barrel Headlong Into The Night

Steve Taylor-Bryant barrels headlong into a review as he listens to The Barrel Headlong Into The Night E.P from Gozer Goodspeed...

It’s no secret that I really enjoyed the first Gozer Goodspeed E.P. (read that review HERE.) The almost cowboy feel from the offset tingled something inside of me, but what impressed me most was the differing styles that not only complimented each other but showed there’s quite a lot you can do with a voice and an acoustic guitar. So now we Barrel Headlong Into The Night with his new release. More of the same? Or something new?

Well, sort of both but that’s not a bad thing. The title track leads us off and is about three and half minutes where I am transported back into Western mode. As Gozer starts to sing I almost found myself disappointed it wasn’t Jon Bon Jovi, then I remembered that I am the only one who liked Young Guns II and that Jon Bon Jovi is a bit of a one trick pony. It is lyrically eloquent, no one ever uses “barrel headlong” as a phrase anymore and that’s a shame as it’s a very poetic turn of phrase. “Building walls” and “Truth looks the same as conspiracy” hit home as both politically relevant but more as strong lyrics and, if there is one thing I can never fault Gozer Goodspeed for, it’s the sheer quality of his songwriting. Different to the first record there is now percussion to add to the wonderful harmony structures I so enjoyed first time around and, all in all, it’s a very solid start to the release.

What You Got Going On, Lewis? with added piano is a throwback to bar room music. This is excellent drinking along music. Picture yourself sat in your favourite dive bar, where everyone knows your name, you’re sat sipping your Gin and Tonic because you’re really cool, and a couple of dudes get up on the little stage in the corner to just jam some blues and have some fun. That is in essence what Lewis is. It’s a happy memory encapsulated in chords, it’s a great night of boozing and singing with your favourite band all stripped back to their roots. It is marvellous.

By far my favourite song on the record is Far Away, Blissed Out & Free [EXCLUSIVE Listen to the track in full below - Ed] but it also the song that creates the only negative thought I have about Gozer Goodspeed. This song is crying out to be played by a band. Full band, drums, maybe some electric guitar, and perhaps even one of those bass player things. It’s full of energy, almost aggression, and has some very wonderful build up moments that seem to allow Gozer’s voice to get more powerful with every word and I’m just desperate for a band to build with him and follow that power on its journey. I am not one to tell an established and incredibly good acoustic artist what to do, but some songs just demand something else that would raise them from “best on the album” to “stadium anthem”. Far Away, Blissed Out & Free is one of the most original songs I’ve heard from anyone in a very long time and, even in the acoustic style, it is far superior to many modern releases, but with a band of friends all plugged in, up on stage at Wembley? The song would be epic.

Every Night, Saturn’s Rings was the favourite amongst friends and family that were trying their hardest not to interrupt my review time but who were loving the music. I can see why they liked it, it’s another where lyrically Gozer Goodspeed shows there is magic in his pen. Strangely it’s the opposite of Far Away and actually wouldn’t work in any other style than the Gozer acoustic one. It has some haunting harmonies that really move you as you listen that just affect me as a listener. As a work of art it is almost flawless.

The final track on the E.P. is When The Blue Man Met The Headshrinker and is, like the first record with Raise & Not Lose, a completely different style to what has come before. It is very catchy, really interesting to listen to, a quite weird story playing out, and it works very well. I imagine at a Gozer Goodspeed show this would be a crowd favourite quite quickly.

During the last part of a review, structure dictates I give some kind of overview, something that piques the interest of the reader to buy or disregard the product I have been writing about. It’s quite tough to do when all you want to do is scream “BUY THIS RECORD!” so how about you go buy it whilst I go and try convince Gozer Goodspeed to re-record Far Away, Blissed Out, and Free with a live band?

EXCLUSIVE TO ALBIEMEDIA! Gozer Goodspeed has kindly given permission to share this. Have a listen to the track Far Away, Blissed Out & Free

Image - Courtesy Gozer Goodspeed

PRE-ORDER THIS RECORD! The Barrel Headlong into the Night EP is released on Friday 19th May.

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