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Review: Gypsy Sun Revival – Journey Outside of Time (released December 8, 2017)

Fort Worth, Texas band Gypsy Sun Revival returns for their sophomore release, Journey Outside of Time. They've expanded their line-up from a trio on the first album to a quintet this time around, giving their music a more colourful and richer sonic palette. Joining the core original trio of Lee Ryan on bass; Ben Harwood on drums and synth and Will Weise on guitar are new lead vocalist Mario Rodriguez (who also plays hand drums) and organ player Tyler Gene Davis.

Things get off to a great start on the opening cut, Cadillac to Mexico, as weird space noise ushers in pulsing drum beats, bluesy guitar, and what sounds like funky wah-wah organ for a song that is easily the catchiest on the album. It’s deliciously heavy, but has some nice mellow vibes running through it too. The spacey organ sounds great, as does new vocalist Mario Rodriguez, whose vocals are full of grit and passion. It sets the tone for the tracks to follow. To the Sky is another hook-laden, psychy funk n’ blues workout with a memorable chorus. Indigo features some crazy interplay of guitar and organ, for some totally acid drenched grooving. Growing Shadows, for most of its length, is classic 60’s style slow and slinky psych/blues, but it blasts into a spirited frenzy towards the end for a grand finish. Cool stuff!

The two-part Pisces, which, with both of its sections together stretches out to nearly 15-minutes, is an album highlight, twisting and turning through multiple moods during its extended length. Deep space guitar echoes through shaking percussion and buzzing, eastern style drones, and you can almost hear the crackling fire burning in the desert night before it shifts into some slow burning psychedelic soul, creeping along, building into an eventual frenzy of soloing over a solid foundation of propulsive drums and bass. Part two is like an extended coda; 6 ½ minutes of liquid, cosmic head tripping, like a psychedelic flash flood that washes you off to reverb land. The epic 9-minute closer, The Departure, is a freaking amazing ride, starting in an unassuming manner with slow, bluesy grooves that suddenly explode into a ridiculously awesome monster freak out, with feverishly pounding hand drums and howling guitars.

Gypsy Sun Revival is back, and as fierce and fiery as ever. The addition of two new members has allowed them to flesh out their approach and create some truly stunning psych sounds from dusty, desert blues to cosmic funk, with a liberal dose of spaced out trippiness thrown in that will truly take you on a journey outside of time.

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