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When your band hasn’t released an album in over 17 years or an album with the original lineup since 1993, it’s a pretty big deal to be releasing a new album with the original lineup in 2017! So when the Galactic Cowboys announced that they would be releasing a new album this year, naturally fans of the band were excited! The bad news is that Wally Farkas, with his killer tone and vintage emotional solos, is not present. But the good news is that his good friend and original guitarist that he replaced, Dane Sonnier is back! The next big band of the early 90’s has come back in a big way too!
From the spatial opening of “In The Clouds”, consequently the first song the band ever wrote together, the Cowboys haven’t missed a beat. It feels as if this could have been the follow up to 2000’s Let It Go! The Galactic Cowboys are known for many things, but their luscious harmonies and heavy riffs are probably the most recognizable things, and both are on display in full force!
“In The Clouds” really displays the strengths of the Cowboys, it starts out with a steady beat, adds the harmonies, puts the accelerator on the floor and comes right back down all in a short span! “Internal Masquerade” is a hard-hitting song that rocks from start to finish and really kicks the album into gear.
“Blood In My Eyes” keeps the rock coming, followed by “Next Joke”. “Next Joke” takes things we are told throughout our lives and exposes them with a sweet bass intro and a good crunchy beat. The arpeggiated guitar on the verses and then the crunch brings us into the chorus. “Zombies” is the Cowboys look at what the electronic gadgetry that so many are attached to has turned us into. It starts with a sweet bass riff and crushes your skull until the chorus soars and it continues until Ben Huggins ends it with a nice long “ZOMBIIIIIIIES”!
A sweet intro and then the hammer of guitars brings us the next track, the mid-tempo “Drama”. People live for it and Galactic Cowboys just doesn’t want to see it! “Amisarewas” brings us the ballad (if you want to call it that) of the album and any ballad that the Cowboys bring is solid. The lyrics will make you think as the music takes you on a pleasant journey.
Now as if the Cowboys realize that the pace has been slowed down they get your heart rate right back up to speed with the frenetic “Hate Me”! A piece that takes on judgmental eyes of all those around us, “YOU DON’T KNOW ME”!! This goes back to the thrash type of beat of old-school Galactic Cowboys!
“Losing Ourselves” is a mid-paced song that again will make you think, I mean these guys have been called thinking man’s metal so what do you expect? “Agenda” picks the pace right back up and has a line that my whole life identifies with! “From where I sit, I just don’t fit, in the Agenda”! Another solid tune!
Finally closing out the album is the title track, “Long Way Back To the Moon”. The lone song sung by semi lead singer/bassist extraordinaire Monty Colvin. Being a Galactic Cowboy, kind of like being a Spaceman in a masked band, you have to have a song that deals with space or a ranch on Mars or the Moon or a spacesuit or something of that nature, right? This song has soaring vocals, a killer guitar solo and like many songs by the Cowboys, it takes you on a trip!
But wait there’s more! Two bonus tracks, “Believing the Hype” and “Say Goodbye to Utopia”. The former is a song (I believe) that’s a tongue in cheek song about the Galactic Cowboys themselves. Lots of compliments that they’ve received over the years into a song. It’s all true I tell ya! “Goodbye to Utopia” is a tale about a misguided group of people in a free country fighting for things we already have and giving up things to get things that again we already have and what it’ll get you!
All in all, if you ever loved Galactic Cowboys, you will love this! If you’ve never heard of them and you like heavy guitars, great harmonies and melodies then you should give this a shot and see what you think! When I heard the first released song, “Internal Masquerade”, I said it was magical! Maybe you’ll feel the same way!
They have a back catalog of six more albums and one E.P. all worth checking out as well.