ARTIST: The Gentle Cycle
RELEASE: The Gentle Cycle
RELEASE DATE: 24th January 2017
RECORD COMPANY: Unsigned
Swirling San Jose based psych aficionados ‘The Gentle Cycle’ have just unleashed their debut self-titled full album to the masses. The band are made up of Derek See – guitar/vocals, Maxwell Borkenhagen – guitar/mellotron, Todd Flanagan – bass and Craig Heitkam – drums and they have a unique talent of creating infectiously addictive psychedelic soundscapes by utilising vintage gear and bygone recording methods to birth a swirling, grooving style of rock ‘n’ roll that’s both timeless and relevant. The overall outcome is mesmerising! ‘The Gentle Cycle’ is available to buy/download on various formats right now from thegentlecycle.bandcamp.com
The album begins with the jangling opening salvo’s of ‘Follow Light’, a swirling tremulous affair, filled with blistering 60’s psych connotations massively underscored by thunderous drums and impressive instrumentation. Vocally sublime, ‘Follow Light’ is a well received opening assault on the senses. Up next, ‘Shells And Spells’ meanders gracefully on an undulating wave of fuzzy reverberation and skittish percussion whilst it’s 60’s garage orientated vocal lines shimmer in and out of cascading guitar lines and snaking bass progressions with glorious aplomb. Track three, ‘You Line’, explodes into earshot held fast within a flurry of shimmering hi-hat & cymbal vibrations whilst the off kilter drum pattern keeps a skittish metronomic beat. It’s woozy guitar progressions deftly envelope another impressive vocal performance while that ever present and deeply menacing organ line adds some seriously dark atmospherics.
‘Love Is The Plan’ slows proceedings down a tad but it’s catchy guitar riff’s and steadying drum pattern’s keep this listener interested whilst ‘Way To Decay’ adds a very welcoming (and highly infectious) psych/folk acoustic swagger to the album thus tapping into another brilliant and previously unknown sonic variation that The Gentle Cycle can swerve into when needed. The album starts to grow on me a bit more as we move into the opening drones of ‘Memory Day’, which soon unfurls into trembling guitar squall and on into the tracks subtle prog-rock leanings. Thunderous percussion, throbbing bass lines and wailing guitars circumnavigate that reverb hued vocal line as the track opens up into an explosive wah-wah fuelled lead break and on into it’s grand finale. A pretty impressive track by my reckoning.
‘Far Beyond’ drives effortlessly through a wave of impulsively melodious instrumentation, filled with luscious breaks, duel lead guitar lines, angry cyclonic drones and undulating reverberation. The albums penultimate track however, entitled ‘She Came This Way’, leans brilliantly into 60’s psych/blues with its woozy bass progressions, melancholic vocal lines, busy drum patterns and punchy guitar stabs. It explodes into a fuzzy maelstrom of immense frequential noise as the lead guitar soars into the ether, looping and arcing through an angry reverb induced sky before eventually coming to an abrupt stop. ‘She Came This Way’ is my favourite track on this entire album and a recommendation from me. Do yourselves a solid and pop on some headphones for this one! You will thank me for it. The albums closing piece is a fitting book end to this collection of tracks. ‘New Day’ brings an air of serenity to proceedings as we float on acoustic atmospherics draped beautifully with harmonious instrumental swells and gloriously addictive vocal tones. A fitting end to a marvellous album.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Del Chaney has spent the last four years dedicating his time to uncovering the best artists in the unsigned or small independent label based shoegaze, ethereal dream pop, post punk, post rock & modern psych rock from all over the globe & reviewing them for this blog – The Primal Music Blog. He is also a contributing writer for The Sound Of Confusion (Now On Hiatus). His other arm – Primal Radio – has gained considerable respect from bands and promoters alike since its conception in 2013 & has helped him in actively promoting a genre of music that he is passionate about. Hailing from Dublin, Ireland, he is a keen Vinyl Collector, Tattoo Fan & all round good guy! He is a self confessed music freak & is never far away from a studio console or a turntable.