Gatsbys American Dream - Volcano (Cover Artwork)

Gatsbys American Dream

Volcano (2005)


With their fourth release, Gatsbys American Dream has finally realized all of the potential and promise they've been playing around with and put it to a record. Volcano is the culmination of ideas and sounds that the band has been experimenting and perfecting since their formation, and it takes all of the good from each of their past releases and attaches it to some truly stellar musicianship. Whereas their first record, Why We Fight, only announced their intentions, and their second (the better), Ribbons And Sugar, merely turned some heads, and their third, In The Land Of Monsters, just confused the hell out of people, their fourth, Volcano, projects its brilliance to the world with not a single qualm.

The confidence the band presents can be heard and felt with every note and every melody. There's no one out there doing what they're doing, and they know it. Other bands try to create stunningly profound rock with a purpose (like this), but most either only scratch the surface or just dig way too deeply. There doesn't need to be a concept attached to an album to make it worthy of attention (yes, Ribbons had a concept to it, but it wasn't something that took control over the album) -- it just needs good songs and a good attitude -- and this band knows this very well. Volcano is packed with good songs. There's the amazing opener "Theatre" and the layered "A Mind Of Metal And Wheels," but there's also the short-but-sweet "Hunter" and the haunting retelling of one of their older songs, "Badlands," which appeared on their last EP in a drastically different form. The new version breeds life into a previously unaffecting track, and the addition of the enticing female vocals has done wonders to its atmospheric presence.

There's definitely something for everyone on this album. You have the eerie songs, the poppy ones, the heartfelt ones, and the introspective ones. You also have a very fulfilling listen once the album draws to a close. After three years worth of material, Gatsbys American Dream have finally hit paydirt. Volcano is definitely their best album, and it's definitely about time the band has stopped teasing everybody with their talents and just made a stunning album. This is one that hopefully propells this band to bigger and better things.