What I’m Listening To: Gyroscope – Cohesion

Written By Simon Chisholm

2010 saw Aussie rockers Gyroscope release their fourth studio album. ‘Cohesion’ peaked at number 3 on the Aria Charts. Perth locals Gyroscope have been delivering powerful rock anthems since their formation in 1997. ‘Cohesion’, the follow up from 2008’s ‘Breed Obsession’. ‘Cohesion’ is a rock powerhouse, showing the band developing song writing and creating masterpieces that will have you rocking out. Since the beginning, the four Gyroscope members have worked seamlessly together, creating a perfect mix of skill and instrumentation; Cohesion. Art by Don Clark

‘Cohesion’ is the high energy Rock album we have come to expect from our West Coast brethren. This release has captured the excitement and feel of a live environment. The boys have successfully formulated a layering technique. They have managed to create a thick, moving, texture for each song that compliments each section and instrument. There is a seamless union between Rhythm guitar playing chords, Lead guitar offering riffage, Bass Guitar supplying bass tonic notes as well as a groove, and solid, powerful drums supporting the groove.

The drums in Gyroscope songs have always been sharp and hard hitting. The performances on this album are no different. Rob supplies a very strong backbone for the songs, utilising a powerful sound and keeping a solid groove. More often than not, the drum lines are more than a simple four-on-the-floor beat, experimenting with fills and percussive elements. They are fun and loud, like all drums should be. I am often annoyed that cymbals are lost in the mix, on ‘Cohesion’ that is not the case.

In the past Dan has boasted his lyrical success is because of his ‘freestyle’ approach to writing. It seems to work very well all of the time. This is probably how he manages such catchy hooks and memorable melodies, also the free, natural flow of the vocal lines. Dan applies an intense, forced vocal style, evoking passion and as if there is great meaning in his words. Throughout the album Dan employs a number of different techniques including; low and articulate with perfect intonation; falsetto; flat out bellowing; and vibrato, showing off improved vocal technique and experimentation.

Zoran supplies interesting guitar riffs throughout the entire record. They are simple yet effective. Zoran has achieved a guitar tone that delivers a suitable amount of crunch and clarity. These leads have an uncanny way of complimenting the vocals.

Brad’s bass work nicely fills out the mix, supplying the bass frequencies as well as cementing the groove of the tracks. At times the bass is the main instrument, playing a riff or establishing the tone. Throughout the record we here Brad offering fast passages and solo fills. We also hear the use of processing; Brad seems to have discovered a crunch effect; works nicely.

In looking at the composition and arrangement of the tracks, it seems that the band have worked to a formula. The songs follow a kind of narrative structure; not lyrically, but instrumentally, particularly noticeable in the overall tone. There is a dramatic contrast between the Verse and Chorus sections. Where there is tension built up in the verse, with an intense tone, the Chorus seems to offer a resolution. It is as though the Verse is used to pose a problem, and the Chorus is the resolution of that part of the story. This approach may be followed for all rock/pop songs, and may be ‘Basic Composition 101’ but I noticed it here, and will have to look out for it in future.

A favourite track of this album is ‘Fifty500’. My attraction comes from a combination of harmonics, chord progression, the galloping melodic rhythm, the piano tone, the melodic contour, the guitar work, the tone, the way the lyrics flow, and the vocal harmonies.

Another favourite track is ‘What Do I Know About Pain?’ This is a big rock track, the elements that I like about this track include: The Intro sucks you in; the pairing of vocal/ melody in chorus; the simple guitar riff that is effective as a counter melody; the Guitar only fills in Verse; the movement in the bass line; and this line in the Chorus – ‘You’re love’s (looks) got me weak at the knees. I’ll burn for you’.

Notable tracks: ‘Run’, ‘What Do I Know About Pain?’, ‘Fifty500’, ‘Spider’, ‘Live Without You’, ‘I Still Taste Blood’, ‘Baby I’m Getting Better’, ‘Some Of The Places I Know’.

When this album came out early 2010, I was reluctant to get it after my disappointment with ‘Breed Obsession’. Now, a year later I am ecstatic that I swallowed my pride and gave it a chance. ‘Cohesion’ is on my metaphorical ‘Best Albums in 2010’ list.

Gyroscope is:

Brad Campbell – Bass

Daniel Sanders – Vocals and guitar

Rob Nassif – Drums and percussion

Zoran Trivic – Guitar and piano

Released 2010 by Universal Music Australia. Produced by Gil Norton.

www.gyroscope.com.au

http://www.myspace.com/gyroscope

What I’m Listening To: Gyroscope – Cohesion

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