What if, instead of just this horrible floating pile of plastic crap in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, creative and skilled people built an amazing oasis on it?
That’s the story told by an album called Gyreland, by a group named Bomber Goggles. (Disclaimer: I know and am friends with all the members of this band.)
I’ve always loved “concept albums,” where it’s not just a bunch of songs jumbled together, but a series of songs that tell a story.
So, my thoughts on these songs (note: I don’t have a copy of the lyrics, but some of them are pretty easy to understand (or misunderstand, perhaps).
1. Land of Plastic – This song starts with an urgent, driving guitar, presenting the problem – we (humans) were too clever for our own good, we choked the oceans to death with plastic that never goes away. Really engaging guitar and keyboards solos in the bridge.
2. The Gyre – One of the outcasts from modern civilization sees it and imagines it as a refuge, a place where “it could be beautiful, if we are dutiful…” Lovely, lilting melody that drew me in to sing along with the chorus, on my very first listening pass.
3. Building – An instrumental that starts with urgent drums, sounding like, well, construction work. About a third of the way in, there’s an interesting syncopated beat. Couple more changes in tempo and instruments, going kind of jazzy and slower paced, then picking it up again.
4. Telepathy – starting with a bass intro, this dreamy song is about the development of telepathy among the people of the gyre. “I hear every word you do not say.” By sharing thoughts, the knowledge and scientific backgrounds of the inhabitants can be utilized more efficiently and productively.
5. Oh Gyreland – gorgeous piano intro here. It’s a soaring anthem of hope. Perhaps this new drifting city built out of refuse can become a utopia. “Bring out the best of man.”
6. The World We Really Want – begins dreamy, lilting, “the world we really want,” the idea of starting over. Kind of gently rocks in the middle, with lovely vocal harmonies.
7. Renewed World – Instrumental. Begins with fast-paced guitars, drums and keyboards, then takes a left turn, melody wise. And then a right turn.
8. We Are Not Alone – “Nothing goes unpunished in this world.” Gyreland is being spied upon, by the world powers that be. A happy community living in harmony is a big threat to the warlike countries that surround it, as well as offering technology they could potentially use in their war against the other warlike countries.
9. Triangle of Power – Chinese, Russians, and United States… Interesting vocal arrangement to open, an indictment of the many historic quests for power at the expense of people.
10. Uneasy Truce – Musically begins with a sense of time counting down. Lyrics talk of Russian trawlers, Chinese jets flying overhead… Keyboards in the bridge sound much like jets screaming overhead.
11. Invasion – Military cadence of drums intros this song, some instrumental clashes that give a verbal cue to fighting… The “winner” is unclear (as is usually the case, even when there is a winner).
12. Wistful Waves – A call to thinking people, to all the gods, to embrace what could be, instead of destroying everything in an international pissing contest. Lead guitar is really engaging in the bridge.
13. March of Tides – “We lost our way, but gave ourselves a second chance.” Great Yes-ian keyboards in the bridge, ending with gentle, wavelike piano, angelic vocals. “Come celebrate the march of tides. To inspire, to create.” So, a happy ending!
I love happy endings, don’t you?
You can get a short sample of all the music here on the Facebook.
Or sample the whole Album on Spotify
Even though you CAN, I trust that you will not simply listen to the album for free, because indie artists need our $upport, always. BUY it, here.