Riffs, riffs and more riffs set the table upon which GOZU's impressive first effort, 2010's "Locust Season", held its generous feast; but the menu for the Boston quartet's sophomore opus, 2013's "The Fury of a Patient Man", seems to offer a much bigger selection of grooves, grooves and more grooves as a second course.
Yes, indeed, the album recorded in neighboring Cambridge, Massachusetts and then mixed just a few leagues up the road in Brookline, New hampshire, ladles rich 'n' creamy guitars over your head, chunkier than New England clam chowder (ugh...sorry!), and it must be said the remaining ingredients round out the flavors beautifully - sort of like a Bizarro World Clutch harboring atypical alternative rock influences.
To wit, "Fury"'s opening statement, "Bald Bull", hunkers down on a low and steady groove not even its backward-sounding guitar solo can destabilize, "Charles Bronson Pinchot" conceals a mean-as-fuck rhythmic chug unveiled midway through, and drummer Barry Spillberg frequently transforms into a Motorik-like metronome on precision heavy rockers such as "Signed, Epstein's Mom" and "Irish Dart Fight".
Later on, the aforementioned alt-rock influences grow even more pronounced in the chorused ALICE IN CHAINS vocals of "Ghost Wipe" and tilting SOUNDGARDEN tempos of "The Ceaseless Thunder of Surf" (well, the first ten minutes of the latter's 25, anyhow); then, the intriguingly named "Traci Lords" visits MAD SEASON's harrowing audio-heroin nightmares while looking every bit as legal-age as its subject (we swear, officer!).
Through it all, and though every member of the band certainly pulls his own weight, GOZU's secret weapon still remains singer Marc Gaffney: a latter day Chris Cornell who doesn't think twice about launching into falsettos that would make even MICHAEL JACKSON proud on the surprisingly funky "Salty Thumb".
Thankfully, he draws the line at "YEE-HEE!!!"
Anywhoo, at the end of the day, the songs on GOZU's second release generally differ from those found on the first in a pretty specific way: rather than slap the listener across the forehead at "hello", they boil along tensely for an improbably long time before loosening their fury - just like the album title promised.
And you have to love a band that walks it like it talks it.