Friday, February 25, 2022

Gatsby Blends Various Rock Influences into an Fuzzy Cacophony on ‘Seasonal Changes In a Mundane World’

The Danish/Scottish rock-based North of Copenhagen Gatsby have a storied history dating back to their formation in October of 1999.

Starting off as a jam band in an Irish pub the group's comradery and fascination with classic rock would soon culminate into their first LP in 2001 'It happened on a Tuesday'. From there they'd hit the ground running, releasing their debut album, 2002's 'Meant To Be', this time with a notable bit-pop and rock influence being incorporated into their sound.

This year would also see the group playing to larger crowds and festivals and garner a fairly loyal fan base.

Alas though, due to various personal issues the group went on hiatus for a few decades before returning with 2021's 'How to hide in Public' an LP that would see a now much older version of the band tackling darker themes and incorporating a stronger blues and folk-rock influence this time around.

Hot off the heels of that release, Gatsby's kicking off 2022 with a bang with the release of their follow-up album  'Seasonal Changes in a Mundane World' . This project sees them honing their songwriting to craft catchy and heavy-sounding Brit-rock, classic rock, and shoegaze tunes a la acts like The Verve, The Kooks and my bloody valentine.

The album kicks off with the track 'Damned if you do' a relative self-explanatory song about being a crossroads in life with two seemingly detrimental options before you; made compelling by a phased and overdriven guitar riff anchored by a straight-ahead drum beat with an accenting synth lead on the chorus.

The second track 'Crisis Intervention' is built around a dancier rock riff alongside a more pulsating drum grove, contrasting against lyrics about the stresses of trying to positively intervene in someone's life but that person is not always being receptive to it.

The song that follows it 'What's your problem' almost feels like a direct response to it's preceding track, functioning as a rejection of sorts. It too revolves around a dancer's mid-tempo beat but this time with a big chant-along chorus that comprises the majority of the song's lyrics, "Cause your crazy, Motherfucking crazy. So damn crazy. What's wrong with you?". 

"I'm so into you" is equally a sing-along, coincidentally also offering a counter perspective to its preceding track as well. The Blur influence shines through in the melodic composition of this straightforward love song.

The second half of this album has a notably sharper blues-rock edge too. Tracks like 'Side face blues', 'Sold down the river' and 'Dirt' are dirty and heavy and lyrically revolve more around missing someone or betting on someone's life.

The closer 'Cold Stares' is an engaging send-off for this record, starting off a slow piano ballad before bursting into punk song around the 1:30 mark. The incorporation of electronic drums and an eerie pitch-shifted vocal effect towards the back half of the track gives it a haunting feeling that stays with you after you finish listening.

All in all 'Seasonal Changes In a Mundane World' is a great and consistent album, a definite must listen for brit-pop/rock fans and blues-rock fans as well.


Kenneth Butcher


Image: 'Seasonal Changes In a Mundane World' Official Album Artwork

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