Gordon: Pop's Pickpockets

(Fifty Seven Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)

Story by Tony Bonyata

Coming up with anything really fresh in the world of alternative rock seems to quite a feat for any new up-and-coming band. Just ask the five-piece band Gordon who'll be releasing their self-titled debut album in March.
Although Gordon's vocalist and guitarist Chris Dye describes his band's music as "psychedelic hip-hop mixed into a sonic assault", in reality it is nothing more than pleasing, slightly edgy pop. But just because it ain't brand spanking new doesn't mean that it's all that bad.
Nevermind that their debut album lacks any real education past 'Creative alt-rock 101', these guys nonetheless know how to craft a catchy melody and one heckuva infectious chorus.
From the MTV tailored pop songs "Fortified Grapes" and "Tickets of Freedom", both with subdued hip-hop drum beats, to the psychedelic meanderings and subtle Indian spicings of "Mr. Cornucopia", complete with an unforgettable Lennon-esque vocal delivery from Dye on the chorus, this group proves that you don't necessarily need to break new ground to create an appealing album.
Bandmembers Jeff Phillips (guitar), Greg Evanski (bass), Dave Sobel (keyboards), Pete McNeal (drums) along with Dye sight Led Zeppelin, Janes Addiction, The Beatles, John Coltrane, the Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Van Gogh and Charles Bukowski as some of their major influences. While they never reach the pounding crunch of Zeppelin, the surreal metal of Jane's, or the absinthe-soaked genius of Van Gogh or Bukowski's gutter brilliance, they've certainly proved astute at squeezing some of the pop sensibilities from the Beatles and Brian Wilson and lightly garnishing with a bit of Floydian color.
While the band continues to pickpocket through other artist's coats, lifting the quirkiness of Weezer's music with Dye's Suede-like androgynous falsetto vocals on "Pain" and the unfortunate Bon Jovial chorus of "Better Daze", they show on the powerful song "Feed", as well as the aforementioned "Mr. Cornucopia", that somewhere under all the outside influences lurks a monster with it's own mind.
Aside from the fact that most of it's been said before, Gordon at least manages to make it sound fun all over again.

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