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Gypsyhawk At Vacation Vinyl, Friday August 24th 2012

When I entered Vacation Vinyl on Friday night, I thought the 70s were back, the hard-rock sound, the long hairs banging non-stop, everything was there. At the top of this, the band was playing under plain light for once, a rare thing at Vacation Vinyl, where I saw a lot of death/black/trash metal or hardcore bands performing in total darkness. It was not the same story for the Pasadena-based quartet Gypsyhawk, it was not question of doom metal, as the mood and the energy were rather up. The four guys seemed to like bright light while playing an in-store to celebrate their new LP ‘Revelry & Resilience’, set to be released on August 28 via new label Metal Blade Records.

Sometimes a tattoo can says a lot, and as I noticed a big ‘Thin Lizzy’ one at the top of the bassist/singer’s right shoulder, I thought that was probably not a coincidence. Their looking-towards-the-70s hard rock was sure showing its clear influences with a touch of trash metal, lots of attitude and tons of fun energy, and their sound was blasting inside the packed store, while many people on the sidewalk were watching the show through the window.

I don’t know if hair metal/Led Zeppelin arena hard rock is back, but these guys were incarnating this idea with lots of conviction, panache, and speed. Their long hairs masking their faces, It was sure efficient and colorful, and the songs sounded like some hard rock classics with roaring assaulting riffs, mad bass lines, dueling guitars, some old-school solos and classic shredding.

Gypsyhawk’s bassist and frontman, Eric Harris, recently talked with the LA Weekly and explained he formed the band after his previous band kicked him out and abandoned him in LA,… What? He didn’t sue them? So surprising and refreshing!

Beside the good-time-rock’-n’-roll-and-beer-party aspect of their music, another interesting point is that the lyrics of the songs are inspired by George R.R. Martin's series of epic fantasy novels, ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ – which has also inspired the successful HBO TV series Game of Thrones – and other unusual subjects as Harris explained: ‘As far as lyrical content goes, new developments in quantum physics are super exciting to me…the recent discovery of the Higgs boson particle, for example. It's really heavy because it can potentially explain how we got here. Religion can't do that empirically. We're never going to really know for sure unless we pay attention to what's going on with science’. Really? I would have never thought when I listened to them covering Johnny Winter's  'Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo' (also featured on their album), but they are totally awesome!

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