Saturday 19 September 2015

GAUL - First Demo (EP Review)

Release date: August 1st 2015. Label: Self Released. Formats: DD

First Demo - Tracklisting

1.Hyperion 03:20
2.Sea of Grass 02:42
3.Super Symmetry 03:04
4.Stone Harvest (Dark Summer) 04:48

Band Members:

Chris Whitehouse - Vocals
Danny Hughes - Drums
Orestis Papadopoulos - Bass
Gary Evans - Guitar
Nathan Mallon - Guitar


With science fiction themed concepts providing an incredible source of inspiration to the cosmic sound of stoner metal it is no surprise that in recent years the two seem to be hanging out at a lot of the same parties and whilst not officially an item per se, they can often be caught exchanging coquettish glances with one another from across the room. On this particular occasion however, Manchester band Gaul also attended the party and acted as one hell of a wing man ensuring that by the end of the night stoner metal and sci fi were going steady. Heck, they’ve even changed their relationship status on Facebook and are planning a short city break to Amsterdam.

Track 1: Hyperion. The opening track kicks the demo off with a superb sonic countdown to a riff-heavy blast off. Fans of Torche won’t be disappointed by the slow burning, rhythmic jet engines that push the track through an atmospheric barrier of melodic, reverb-sodden vocals into an asteroid belt of top class Sabbath worship.

Track 2: Sea Of Grass. Buckle in and engage the hyper drive. Sea Of Grass picks up the pace to a relentless gallop before crash landing the Gaul-ship on a mysterious, green planet where the inhabitants ingest toxic plant matter and excrete the purest groove. If you enjoy the likes of Dozer and The Atomic Bitchwax then be sure to climb aboard.

Track 3: Super Symmetry. Houston, we have a chug fest! Next up is a powerful vocal performance with some sweet harmonies in conjunction with a Fu Manchu style guitar showdown. By this point of the demo Gaul find themselves in the belly of the riff-warp. Could all passengers please keep their seatbelts fastened and adorn their breathing apparatus.

Track 4: Stone Harvest (Dark Summer). The last track of the demo begins with that weightless psychedelia vibe that fans of Colour Haze, Earth and Stoned Jesus will savour. The distant vocals and subtle guitars create an immersive, reposeful soundscape that allows you to drift only so far before the heaving chorus slaps you awake again. The demo ends on a balls out riff feast with each instrument locked tightly in a groove which I could happily listen to all day. Many bands may be tempted to let this kind of heavy hook play out to a long fade, however Gaul let the demo end abruptly; a great contrast to the gentle limber of the track’s intro. The immediate silence at the end of this demo creates an empty space that I want to fill by pressing play again right away.

Over-all I feel that this self-recorded demo is a strong introduction to the band, showcasing diverse song writing from a tight group of musicians with more gems in their pockets than Jack Maclean. I look forward to more polished recordings from this band in the future.

Words by ThisHairyGuy