Album Review: Jerry Gaskill – Love & Scars

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love_n_scarsFor those who may have been stranded on a desert island since the 1980’s, Jerry Gaskill is the legendary drummer with rock pioneers King’s X.  This is his second full-length album and it is certainly a varied piece of musical adventure, which may not be to everyone’s taste.

I certainly appreciate the heavier pieces on the album, with “Paradise” being particularly interesting.  However, not being the biggest Beatles fan, a lot of the more poppy numbers did not move me the way I had expected.  I can understand the need to stretch musical boundaries, as King’s X frequently do, but this LP does not quite bring the adrenaline rush of when Doug Pinnick is singing.  Don’t get me wrong,  this album is classy, it’s just that it doesn’t grip me the way Out of the Silent Planet or Gretchen Goes To Nebraska did when they came out.  When the songs need real drive, Jerry seems to draw back and hit the brakes and that is a shame.

The standout songs are those which sound most like King’s X, including “Far Away” and the aforementioned “Paradise“.  However, these two songs are really all I like on this long player and that is a real shame.  I have heard Jerry interviewed a few times and he seems like a great guy, it’s just that this music is not to my taste with its mixture of AOR, The Eagles and The Beatles.

The production is also a bit distracting for me.  The compressed sound seems to suck the life out of the record and I would have liked the drums and bass to be a bit more clear and pronounced.  Sonically, it has to be said that this seems somewhat muddied and a bit retro.

On the whole, it’s not a bad effort, but I suppose, as a fan of King’s X, it is a tad disappointing and that is a darn shame.

BUY: Jerry Gaskill – Love & Scars

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