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Gazpacho - When Earth Lets Go

Artist: Gazpacho
Title: When Earth Lets Go
Label: self produced
Length(s): 44 minutes
Year(s) of release: 2004
Month of review: [12/2004]

Line up

Jan H. Ohme - vocals, backing vocals
Thomas Andersen - keys, programming
Jon-Arne Vilbo - guitars
Roy Funner - bass
Robert R. Johansen - drums
Mikael Kramer - violin on 10

Tracks

1) Intro 0.46
2) Snowman 4.26
3) Put It On The Air 5.08 MP3
4) Souvenir 3.37
5) Steal Yourself 3.51
6) 117 6.22
7) Beach House 5.06
8) Substitute For Murder 5.53
9) Dinglers Horses 4.35
10) When Earth Lets Go 4.47

Summary

Notwithstanding their success in being Marillion's support for many of the recent concerts, this band still has not succeeded in finding the record label they think they need. Hence their second full, self produced album.

The music

After a short intro, we come to Snowman, a slow moving piece with a strong orchestral bombastic middle section, fitting in well with Ohme's tragic vocals. The drums give the music a laid-back triphoppy feel.

Similar to Marillion, the beauty of Gazpacho's songs takes a while to develop in your mind, notwithstanding the fact that the music they make doon es not sound inaccessible. This holds for also for the fast-paced Put It On The Air. Souvenir is a song similar in feel to Snowman, except that with its short length it stays rather introverted. The feel ressembles that of Hogarth-era Marillion in their quieter moments.

Steal Yourself is more rocky again, ending with some estranging sound effects. It slides straight into the elegant 117. There is something of elegance about the music of Gazpacho. The drums are again very relaxed, and mixed on top. The vocals are a bit hazy at times, reminiscent of Radiohead. The tearful vocals of Ohme make this a song in style similar to Bravo, but it does not have the same emotional impact for me. This does not mean it is a good song.

The pace comes back again in Beach House. The organ and synths are strongly present here, while the guitar fills in the background. The song has a nice flow, with every instrument at the right volume. The guitar does make sure for that this song rocks more than usual, because to my mind Gazpacho is more a pop band than a rock band (I also count Radiohead as a pop band).

Substitute For Murder is a lazy track, in which the vocals remind me sometimes of Muse. There is also a difference: Muse tends to go over the top, both musically and vocally, something which Gazpacho eschews. Striking is that the guitar goes into morse signs, similar to Glenn Campbell's Wichita Lineman as written by Jimmy Webb (in my mind, one of the best songs ever written).

Dinglers Horses opens peacefully with sounds from nature. The vocals are very reminiscent of Hogarth. Slowly the song builds up, nicely percussive. This is in fact quite different from the previous songs, as the band manages to put tension and mystery into this slow moving organ riddled track. Powerful. We close down with the sad piano title track, and the intimate vocals of Ohme.

Conclusion

Another good one from Gazpacho is the easy conclusion. The boys write good songs, have a good mix and a good (melancholic) vocalist, very important for their brand of progressive pop. Fans of Radiohead and latter day Marillion, but, for the older ones among you, the Associates and The Blue Nile ought to give them a listen. Soonest.

© Jurriaan Hage