If there was an award for the hardest working band in rock music then San Diego, California riff merchants The Great Electric Quest have got to be considered as serious contenders, there doesn't seem a day goes by without hearing about them ripping up the stage at some venue somewhere or other in the USA. With their unbelievable work ethic and busy touring schedule you would think it pretty difficult for such a hard working band to actually find the time to head into the studio and record a new album, luckily for us that is exactly what they have managed to do, the results of which can be heard on "Chapter II: Of Earth".(Totem Cat Records)
Rock'n'roll should be fun, yes it should be sometimes intense, questioning and thought provoking just not all the time, for every Rush there should be a T.Rex, for every Dream Theatre a Motorhead and for every YOB a The Great Electric Quest. There is a sense of ballsy hell for leather attitude about what TGEQ do, a feeling that even if the apocalypse was predicted for tomorrow these guys would be planning for the after party. This feeling of "joie de vivre" is reflected throughout the seven songs on "Chapter II: Of Earth", it can be found in the tribal driven and WAH drenched "Seeker of the Flame", in the drum and guitar showcase that is "Of Earth: Episode 1" and even in the torch like dynamics of "Heart of the Sun". These guys have come a long way since their 2016 debut album "Chapter 1" and have matured both as songwriters and musicians, where on their debut there was a tendency for the band to overplay their hand instrumentally here the emphasis is on playing for the song instead of despite of it. Guitar god in the making Buddy Donner reins in his shredding chops on "Chapter II..." and plays more "inside" the songs on offer, the guitarist, along with his usual finger blurring solos and tasteful licks, bringing elements of both texture and colour to the table. The biggest surprise of "Chapter II..." however comes in the shape of Tyler "TSweat" Dingvell's vocals, always an impressive vocalist here Dingvell takes things to the next level, smooth and rich on less abrasive songs like "The Madness" commanding and powerful with a gritty edge on the more metallic songs like "Anubis"and "Wicked Hands" he brings an added level of gravitas to each songs lyrics on "Chapter II..." and gives his best studio performance to date. Driving these grooves of stonerized hard rock and classic rock/metal are Daniel "Muchodrums" Velasco (drums) and Jared Bliss (bass) the pair expertly supporting Donner and Dingvell's fretboard and vocal pyrotechnics with array of pulverising metallic groove and laid back rhythmic dynamics, locking in with the vocalist and guitarist to complete what is a very tasty musical jigsaw.
TGEQ hold quite a unique place in today's underground scene the San Diego quartet are neither a fuzz drenched stoner outfit, a retro classic rock combo or a heavy metal band yet at the same time they are all of these things, the band standing at a crossroads where all these genres meet, cherrypicking what they need from each and blending them into an enthralling hybrid that is part nostalgic and part fresh and new. "Chapter II: Of Earth" is an album that shows a band moving in the right direction, maturing in both writing and arrangement yet maintaining their sense of fun by not getting overly complicated and intense, a band still preparing for the end of the world by ordering another round of drinks
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© 2018 Frazer Jones