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Gatsbys American Dream - In the Land of Lost Monsters (Cover Artwork)

Gatsbys American Dream

Gatsbys American Dream: In the Land of Lost MonstersIn the Land of Lost Monsters (2004)
LLR Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Perhaps inspired by the likely swelling crowd of labels that came a-running after Gatsby's American Dream's Ribbons & Sugar was released to critical underground acclaim, GAD has now focused an entire disc's worth of sheer sarcasm and metaphorical hate towards the bile tactics record labels can take..
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Perhaps inspired by the likely swelling crowd of labels that came a-running after Gatsby's American Dream's Ribbons & Sugar was released to critical underground acclaim, GAD has now focused an entire disc's worth of sheer sarcasm and metaphorical hate towards the bile tactics record labels can take. Whereas GAD gained a cult following using short bits of pop and post-punk and nomad-like time-signature travels, they now rely on mellower, piano-laden, melancholic tracks that vary in style and execution drastically, which manage to prevent one of the softer EPs of the year to become at all boring but also propel it to one of the best extended plays of the year. With nifty drum fills (see the closing of "The Dragon of Pendor"), abrupt yet fine-tuned tempo changes (see "You Stole My Story," "The Dragon of Pendor") and the maturing vocals of Nic Newsham, Gatsby's continue to devlop into something words soon won't fathom.

"Yes, This is About You" opens the seven-track wonder asking, "the signal is corrupted / the songs are uninspired / where's the fucking chorus?" where the closing track, "The Dragon of Pendor" (which could've been a fantastic B-side from the R & S sessions, with its jammed-out base and well-timed finger snaps) begs the very same triplet of lines, following it up with the warning of "but you can't fuck with my integrity."

One of the most notable additions to the sound is a keyboard, which is utilized perfectly, whether it be fuzzed out moog or classical piano. In the acoustic-based coastal trip of "The Badlands," its use in the bridge of the song provides this unspeakable breath of almost power-pop upbeatness that works wonders for the song's otherwise depressive/nostalgic-like feel.

This time around, the band is also a little more repetitive, lyrically-speaking. Whether or not they're doing it to fit the theme of the album and make it ironic is beyond me, but either way, it doesn't come off annoying in the least, even in "I Smell An Agenda," where the repeated interrogation of "does the right hand, know what the left hand is doin'?" helps further plague a bleak, piano-scale stepping piece of work.

Certainly this band gets a little more pretentious with every release, but their musicianship, creativity, and take-no-shit outlook is more than enough to help a listener bypass it to really see what Gatsby's American Dream has accomplished and will continue to pull off.

STREAM
The Badlands
The Dragon of Pendor

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
dumhed01 (January 10, 2008)

Fuck.

dumhed01 (January 10, 2008)

Words don't have faces.

HeresLookinAtYou (March 27, 2006)

The word pretentious should be shot in the face.

Amazing EP.

Anonymous (August 18, 2004)

Ok, I'm the guy who complained about the lack of time signature changes and all of that. Having just come back from seeing Gatsby's live, and being so impressed by the material live, I have to say I like it a lot better than I did before. I hope they throw in some token math crap for music nerds like me on the upcoming LP but the songs on this EP are really memorable nonetheless.
Plus, Nic is a really nice guy. We had a brief conversation about a couple of different bands while he was manning the merch booth, and he strikes me as a very cool guy, as well as knowledgable about a bunch of indie bands. His voice is fantastic, and he sounds even better live than on this particular release.

fatbrendan (August 16, 2004)

"fatbrendan, youre not brendan from the larry arms, are you??"

no, i'm not.

Anonymous (August 13, 2004)

Wow, I don't have much against Gatsbys but I really can't understand how they have blossomed above many of the other bands in the Western Washington/Seattle scene, when they really aren't anywhere near the best music being made there now.

TrailerParkJesus (August 13, 2004)

fatbrendan, youre not brendan from the larry arms, are you??

TheMarc (August 12, 2004)

You had better not be messing with my head, anonymous.

Anonymous (August 12, 2004)

This ep rocked my ass, but did anyone else get really excited at the end of the first song when it busted into double time? Too bad it ended just as quickly, but dammit, I loved "Why We Fight".

Oh Shit, you're in for a surprise in 2005!!! Just wait. I promise.

fatbrendan (August 12, 2004)

I wish more people would discover GAD. Look how little commenting on this album there is. It's seriously unfortunate.

TheMarc (August 11, 2004)

This ep rocked my ass, but did anyone else get really excited at the end of the first song when it busted into double time? Too bad it ended just as quickly, but dammit, I loved "Why We Fight".

inagreendase (August 11, 2004)

They were actually apporached by Drive Thru but they wanted GAD to write choruses.

Funny, because I've heard a simliar thing about why The Starting Line's acoustic EP kept getting pushed back; it was supposedly because Drive-Thru made them re-record it after the original didn't have choruses and/or wasn't 'catchy' enough.

fatbrendan (August 11, 2004)

I love Gatsby's American Dream. They were actually apporached by Drive Thru but they wanted GAD to write choruses. Hence the whole spiel about "where's the fucking chorus?" Hopefully their Fearless debut rocks my nuts.

Anonymous (August 11, 2004)

yes, it was inspired by those labels.

Anonymous (August 11, 2004)

This wasn't bad but it just can't compare to Ribbons and Sugar. I miss the hyper-convoluted song structures and odd time signatures. I just hope this isn't a real indication of where their sound is headed.

CapitalH (August 11, 2004)

I was a bit disapointed when i listened to this album, but that was because I bought it right after I saw them live. They tore it up. The Ep still rules though. Dragon of Pendor is awesome too!

ElVaquero (August 11, 2004)

This band is so super awesome. Friends of my old dorm parent too, though I never got to see them...

I like the line "they get more pretentious with every release," very true and funny, good review.

mykindofmurder (August 11, 2004)

i just cant get into these youngsters.

maverick (August 10, 2004)

The part in the last song where he goes "Where's the fucking chorus / here it iiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssss!" is so fucking awesome.

There's a lot of soul/R&B influence on this EP. Seriously. And it's great.

-Scott

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