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Bomber Goggles: Gyreland

Well known to many in the prog world, guitarist Peter Matuchniak has already built an impressive catalogue of work through his solo output and that of the band Gekko Projekt. Fellow Gekko, Vance Gloster (keyboards), joins Matuchniak in donning his Bomber Goggles, with bassist/vocalist Steve Bonino completing the oddly named trio who initially took the first two letters of their surnames - Bo-Ma-Go - and over time evolved them into the moniker they adopted.

Gyreland is an even more complex story than that, where a new continent is formed by the huge mass of floating plastic in the oceans and grows to such a size that people begin to inhabit it. For those that do a strange synergy grows between them, allowing them to anticipate and work together seamlessly to the island’s betterment. Jealous of this new ‘ability’ the inhabitants of Gyreland have acquired, the world’s superpowers come together with a plan to invade and… well, I won’t spoil it for you, because it’s a fun, topical, intricate and crafted concept that takes you where you expect it to and to other destinations as well.

The biggest surprise from Gyreland is its introduction, “Land Of Plastic” being a gritty riff driven anthemic burst that is much more exuberant and pushy than the CV’s of those involved would suggest. It’s a smart move, for while the rest of this album is a much more slow burning affair, this chorus driven beginning is an instant win. “The Gyre” follows in much more restrained, proggy fashion, a tugging guitar line counterpointing the toll of a bell and impassioned vocals. Cleverly, the concept allows Bomber Goggles to discuss a lot of current world issues - pollution, immigration, amoral governments and a basic lack of human empathy - without making the album a simple political statement. Instead it merely points things in the right direction and lets you unravel the rest.

With varied attacks “Telepathy” is a bright yet intriguing mix where Bonino’s voice hints at the fragility of Tim Bowness but with a more obvious melodic nature. Something that continues on into “Oh Gyreland”, where the drumming from guest stick-smith (Jimmy Keegan (ex-Spock’s Beard, no less)) is integral to the utterly convincing nature of what is revealed. In general, after the album’s intentionally breathless beginning, things often sit in a reserved situ, happy to reveal their beauty and inner strength gradually. There are, however, still more energetic moments such as “Renewed World”, where the power with which the message is delivered often disguises the technicality of what’s being explored. Leaving the album sometimes - in a good way - to feel a little less ‘prog’ than it actually is, even if the performances from all four musicians are stupendously strong.

“Invasion” stutters and explodes with melodic intent, “March Of Tides” straddles the space between Genesis and Spock’s Beard, while “Uneasy Truce” almost slides languidly into a space rock meltdown. In truth, the ridiculously high standard is maintained throughout, allowing Gyreland to be an album that impresses both as a piece of musical art and as a topical, but veiled look at the world today. You won’t be too surprised to discover that it comes highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Land of Plastic
2. The Gyre
3. Building
4. Telepathy
5. Oh Gyreland
6. The World We Really Want
7. Renewed World
8. We Are Not Alone
9. Triangle of Power
10. Uneasy Truce
11. Invasion
12. Wistful Waves
13. March of Tides

Added: October 17th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Bomber Goggles at bandcamp
Hits: 1187
Language: english

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