Saturday 14 January 2017

Gone Is Gone - Echolocation (Album Review)

Release date: January 06th 2017. Label: Rise Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Echolocation – Tracklisting

Slow Awakening
Fast Awakening

Band Members

Tony Hajjar
Troy Sanders
Troy van Leeuwen
Mike Zarin


Greetings all,

Welcome to 2017. If my first review of the year is any indication, we are in for one hell of a good year for music. Here we have Gone is Gone, which is a kind of Super group/Side project for members Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Troy Van Leeuwen (Queens of the Stone Age) and Tony Hajjar (At the Drive In), along with multi instrumentalist, Mike Zarin. Their debut self titled EP was released last July and the follow it up with the stunningly subdued, yet rocking Echolocation.

I will be the first to admit that I am not always the biggest fan of supergroups or side projects, they tend to feel like either a pompous glory project or a half hearted time killer between members actual bands.

Gone is Gone does not have that feel at all. It delivers in spades. It is well played, well recorded. Definitely not over produced (which tends to happen on these types of endeavours,), and the songs are strong. Echolocation is an ambitious, sprawling 12 song, 55 minute trek, that showcases the finer points and sensibilities that the members bring to their respective other bands. Echolocation is a little hard to classify, other than to say it sounds like what would happen if Mastodon made a record with later-era QoTSA. Which, obviously, is exactly what we are dealing with here. There is a level of ambience, mixed with a nice dose of dissonance that give way quite often to some rock/metal leanings.

On to the songs themselves, the record opens with Sentient, which after a rather ambient sounding opening rolls into a big drum rocker. Propelled by Hajjar's big time drumming, which is all over this record. The Gift is a catchy heavy rock song with a nice earworm that hooks you real good. Resurge has the feel of a QoTSA style stomp to it. 

The next track Dublin has a very subdued, meditative quality, with a percussive, dissonant feel. The next couple of tracks Ornament, Pawns, and Colourfade are all excellent, mid tempo rock songs. These tracks then give way to the boiling, dissonant and echo filled Roads. The final portion of the record shows the band visiting all kinds of different territories. 

The next two tracks, Slow Awakening followed by Fast Awakening show the bands range. Slow Awakening fits the name, it is reminiscent of later era Nine Inch Nails feel and leads in to the more rocking Fast Awakening. Resolve is an excellent acoustic tracks, with some strings thrown in for good measure. The closer is the big time rock track Echolocation. An apt closer for this satisfying musical excursion.

If you are a big fan of Mastodon or Queens of the Stone Age, you are probably already aware and on this record. If you are like me, and wary of these types of project. Don't be. Gone is Gone delivers. Echolocation is a rocking, satisfying addition to these fine musicians already stellar resumes. Here's hoping Gone is Gone keep it going for quite a while.

-Todd S

Words by Todd Stealey