"The Isolationist" (HapiSkratch Music / Fist Records; 2007)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Let’s just say this right off: GasHead is a superb band.

The first thing I noticed about "The Isolationist" is that just about all of the songs have enough hooks to keep the CD interesting throughout. Combine that with outstanding metal musicianship and this becomes one fine recording.  

What I liked best about this CD is that the music was fun and easy to listen to. That's too often a difficult thing to say about a heavy metal CD, but GasHead makes it look easy with "The Isolationist." GasHead is a band that knows how to deliver a great recording and I wholly recommend this CD. The band even does a great cover of the Testament tune, "Disciples of the Watch."

Gashead: Josh Purdy - lead vocals; Justin Vaughan - bass; Nate Scofield - drums; Mike Lopez - guitars; Derek Maness - guitars.

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"Knuckles Avec Sombreros" (HapiSkratch Music / Fist Records; 2005)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I'll be honest – I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I put GasHead's "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" into the CD player. The artwork suggested something less than heavy metal or hard rock for that matter – it evoked an image more fitting for Los Lonely Boys, assuming they were modern rockers rather than Tex-Mex kings. The title was just flat out confusing - "Knuckles Avec Sombreros"? English, French, and Spanish are all represented in the album title with nary a link among them.

So what's "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" all about? Well, it's about living in the moment with shredding being the order of the day. Co-lead guitarists Mike Lopez and Derek Maness shred their way into six-string bliss on every track. While not entirely over-the-top, it's pretty clear to me that restraint wasn't necessarily the first thing these cohorts in guitar mayhem concerned themselves with upon waking up each day.

Nine original songs are augmented by two particularly impressive cover songs. The originals are up-tempo rockers that are uplifting and expressive without being too weighty for their own sake. The covers include a balls-out expanded heavy duty version of George Lynch's guitar solo track "Without Warning" while a fairly faithful rendition of Def Leppard's instrumental classic "Switch 625" gets an honest treatment from the band.

Technical proficiency doesn't get in the way of having fun with these guys. GasHead show a strong sense of humor (despite a lack of lyrics/vocals except for the intro track) and playfulness missing from most artists' outward musical expressions. There is a lot of joy expressed on "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" and it's nice to hear for a change.

I thoroughly enjoyed "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" and if you are the slightest bit interested in guitar instrumentals that GasHead are worth checking out.

"Knuckles Avec Sombreros" was produced by Dave Beegle and GasHead.

GasHead: Mike Lopez on lead and rhythm guitars, Derek Maness on lead and rhythm guitars, and Nate Scofield on drums. Contributors include Michael Olson on bass, Jerimy Sherin on bass, as well as Dave Beegle on acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar, and sound effects.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400.