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July 23, 2024

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Gatsby's American Dream
Ribbons & Sugar (Rocketstar Recordings)

By: Vinnie Apicella

The Seattle-based fivesome's sophomore push generates an emotional lift to the listener, transcending the technical prowess of the earlier resulting from their bout with the great beyond and here's their tale of triumph. Loosely based on Orwell's "Animal Farm," GAD touches on every aspect of humanity at odds with themselves and the world around them and derives and displays strength to overcome -- "We're Not Orphans," "Epilogue," "Apparition." Weighted on the flighty nature of Prog/Rock's open chorded echo, showy aural breaks and instrumental breakdowns, it's mathematically stimulating and melodically adept music with plenty of playing intricacies and song patterns that often change tempo and depth in minute long clusters. "Ribbons & Sugar" is not predictable, boring, or difficult to decipher, things that often shroud the sincerity of many an instrumental group, good at what they do, but remembered less for complete works. There's a tension and tranquility in the songs as if reliving an entire elemental existence in 33 minutes. Plosive power chords create a dissonant reaction to usually charming, soft woven melodies and voice, lending a modern and edgy Emo-style overtone to the multi-tiered Further Seems Forever to Floyd-ian dream spin. Easy to see why GAB's made such big strides so early in the game -- an apparition? Maybe. I like to think they're one of the few bands that puts as much thought into the big picture as they do for the matter at hand. It won't yield much in the way of hit single stardom, but this album has the chance to be appreciated by across the board listeners of a subdivided Rock music and Pop culture for years to come.
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