Gyroscope – Breed Obsession


Artist

Album

Breed Obsession

Label

Warner

Year

2008

Genre

For Fans Of

Karnivool - Something with Numbers

Summary

Breed Obsession shows the bands transition from fall-down-take-all-the-medicine-in-the-cabinet-drunk grunge to easy digestible pop rock.

Rating

75 / 100

Upon first perusal
of the album it’s a little sexy and a tad tacky in the same breath.
We have pictures of a rabbit, a shag-pile carpet, a scantily clad lady
and her fleshy bits and not to mention the four band member’s fleshy
bits (nipples and all) that have eyes that stare at you as you walk
around the room. Just think if this Gyro business doesn’t work out
the boys can always have a fresh start in ‘Gynoscope’. 

It’s clear that
the band have evolved in their four years together. Since their debut
release ‘Sound Shattering Sound’ in 2004 which was more of a frenzied
burst of energy, this album tries to tackle a more mature and sensible
side of the band, drawing on influences from bands past and present.
The addition of piano, strings and well structured melodies is something
of a myth within rock music these days (waits for the backlash) but
the boys have managed to create an album without losing their rough
and tough reputation on the touring circuit as an energetic live band.   

The first track
Snakeskin delivers a powerful punch. It’s clearly the stand-out track
and even the band admits that it was this song that sparked the real
writing process for the rest of the album. It reminds me of 2006’s
Are You Involved with its aggressive, dark and melodic composure with
razor sharp edges. It would appear the band have struck commercial gold
as the song is used for advertising and is a regular triple J staple. 

Other highlights
include All in One, and Silver Heart (which strikes a resemblance to
the band Weezer) bring back the Gyroscope we love. Yet tracks like Australia
seem to over use the string section, which in the end drowns out the
vocals and creates a tacky melody.  

Some songs splash
in an almost country rock theme which poses the question, where in the
hell has this albums direction gone? It seems like they can’t pick
the one central theme and jump genres every second song. Some tracks
seem to be over produced with multi layering vocals that have been digitalized
and tampered to illogicality. But my faith is restored in the final
track Time. This song is simply amazing, creating a melancholic piano
line that fashions this Pink Floyd type atmosphere. It is the perfect
curtain closer on the album and creates this strong, dark, redolent
environment that calms the senses.  I almost wish the album was
released on vinyl just to get that raw sound.  

It’s difficult
to see Gyroscope as the one band. As a live act the band is simply phenomenal,
creating a set list of new and old songs, they burst out of their seams
to create this energetic performance that simply knocks you off your
feet. As a recording band they are a completely different band altogether.
It is more the kind of songs you would like to hear in a small intimate
environment with strings and piano chords rifling through the venue
with a cocktail in hand. That’s not to say they have gone all Metallica
on us and produced some pussy rock tunes, but it’s a more developed
and somewhat over the top studio production to realise a more composed
sound and not necessarily a smooth, bolder sound.  

Conclusion

I seem to have
mixed feelings towards this record. The release of the album has been
pumped up to extraordinary lengths and upon first listen it disappoints.
However, if you have the time to give the record a few spins it grows
on you like a pimple you can’t wait to squeeze. Although a smashing
attempt at a more mature sound, it’s evident that Breed Obsession
is an exercise in evolution, not perfection.

Tracklisting

  1. Snakeskin
  2. All In On One
  3. These Days
  4. Australia
  5. O.K.
  6. Weapon. Enemy. Friend.
  7. Polyphons and Multidors
  8. The River Between
  9. Her Design

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