Review - Gozer Goodspeed

With the single released just yesterday on Lights & Lines record label, Susan Omand indulges her obsession with Gozer Goodspeed's music and listens to Escape Hatch Fever... 

THERE'S NEW MUSIC FROM GOZER GOODSPEED! Why did nobody tell me? Oh, wait... [just kidding - Ed]

Yeah, if you follow Mr Goodspeed and Lights & Lines record label on social media [and if you don't, why not?! - Ed] you will be well aware that his latest single, the title track from the upcoming album, came out yesterday. What I wasn't expecting though, was a "three for one" deal, with an acoustic version of the song and an additional totally new song (a previously unreleased demo of a song called Only Little Victories) added in for good measure as a "B-side".

Once my excitement at the mere thought of new Gozer music had calmed down, I actually got round to listening to the tracks:

The main track, Escape Hatch Fever, made me smile right from the start - this is classic Goodspeed blues rock, built for the fans. The percussive intro leading into stark, stripped back guitar chords sets the stage brilliantly for Gozer Goodspeed's uniquely persuasive vocal to take over. I found myself listening with eyes shut, head nodding and feet tapping, in utter blues reverie. What did surprise me though was the the glorious guitar-widdling that kicked in part way through. He's a bit good at this, is our Mr Goodspeed. In fact I was so blissed out by it all that the sudden stop at the end of the song jarred a bit at first but, on listening to it a few times, I can see exactly why it's like this. There is no more to say.

The acoustic version, thankfully, doesn't suffer from the usual acoustification [it's a word - Ed] of other blues rock musicians' work - the song lost none of its punch by losing the electric guitar. What it did do was bring the lyrics a lot more to the fore as I concentrated on the words this time, rather than getting lost in the gorgeous guitar and vocal combo of the first track. It is indeed "a tale of being overworked and undervalued, looking everywhere for that elusive ‘exit door’" as the BandCamp blurb says. Phrases like

"Punch drunk. Bleeding for the machine.
And you feel so strung out and wrung out"

is a perfect description of work, and indeed, life, just now for so many. What more reason do you need to go looking for that escape hatch?

I must also mention Only Little Victories too, as it's a very cool little addition to the list. Yes, it does sound like a demo, it has the raw quality that those of us who have followed Gozer Goodspeed from the start remember from his first EPs [this is a good thing - Ed] and is a definite bop that reminds me of early seventies folk rock - bizarrely bringing to mind Horse With No Name by America, but I think that's just me.

So yeah, the new music from Mr Goodspeed definitely doesn't disappoint; I've had the song on repeat for the whole day and I love it more every time that I hear it. I've definitely got Escape Hatch Fever [you can get a cream for that - Ed] and can hardly wait for the album to come out in March, if this is a taster for what is to come.

In the meantime, buy this single to feed the obsession.

Image - Lights & Lines
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