Unique Sound, Repetitive Pattern
Gravitron exudes a combination of hard rock and classic ‘70s rhythm. Chris Kosnik gives each track a heavy, complex bass line that adds depth to the album and complements the uptempo work of lead guitarist, Finn Ryan. Frequent tempo changes within songs lend dynamism to the album. However, most of the songs are fairly predictable; from the first track on, the group establishes a pattern of slow beginnings that jump into high-speed guitar solos, and they basically stick to that format throughout the album.
A perfect example of this is the track “No Way Man,” which begins with a marked bass line and a guitar solo that joins in several bars later. Another is “War Claw,” which starts out slow and suddenly builds momentum without vocals even stepping onto the scene. The song has depth and engages listener’s interest through the intense drumming of Bob Pantella, making it stand out from the rest of the album. However, the tempo changes within songs become less alluring after the first few songs, and as many pieces follow this pattern the once-surprising acceleration within each song becomes predictable.
“Coming in Hot” is one track that takes listeners by surprise. After several songs set the pattern of slow, bass-heavy beginnings leading to pace-quickening guitar work, this song manages to follow that pattern but shake things up by completely changing its melody, rhythm and guitar riff about three-quarters of the way through. Right after vocalist Kosnik sings, “I’ll cut you down to size,” Pantella adds some nuanced percussion and Ryan embarks on a series of blistering guitar riffs that stand in stark contrast to the first part of the song. What marks this apart from the rest of the album is that the song not only alters its cadence, but also its entire melody, managing to be totally unique.
Despite this distinct song, the album in its entirety has a pretty homogenous sound. One song, “Porto World,” catches listeners off-guard with an intro consisting of slow clapping and a chorus of “I don’t care anymore,” that instantly bring Phil Collins to mind. But for the most part, every song starts with a slow bass pattern only to jump speed into a fast, repetitive guitar riff and fairly predictable vocals. The group’s characteristic sound, comprised of guitar-work that harkens back to the 1970s, then infused with some modern hard rock, has a lot to offer, but it gets a bit lost in the redundant form of each song on Gravitron.