By Jonathan Crane
Gone Is Gone is a supergroup comprised of Mastodon’s Troy Sanders on vocals and bass, Troy Van Leeuwen from Queens Of The Stone Age on guitar, Tony Hajjar from At The Drive-In on drums and composer Mike Zarin.
Wikipedia currently has them listed under “desert rock” – a sound that comes from Palm Desert, California, that combines elements of stoner rock, acid rock, psychedelic rock, and probably a bunch of other things.
This label “desert rock,” is a lot more useful and accurate when describing Echolocation, Gone Is Gone’s debut album. For those who have never heard any of the aforementioned subgenres, what this means is that you should expect a lot of slow, heavy distorted bass lines, entrancing melodies and piercing guitar riffs.
This is plainly visible on the first track “Sentient,” where booming riffs fade in and out over soaring vocals, in a loud-quiet-loud formula. It’s one found throughout the release and isn’t unlike Soundgarden drenched in motor oil.
There are definitive breaks from this sludge festival however, like the cinematic “Echolocation,” the progressive “Roads,” and the emotive “Resolve.” There’s also songs like “Colorfade,” that are seemingly geared towards making the album more accessible by entering into A Perfect Circle radio-rock territory.
Fans of Mastodon will probably find this album too janky to get into, as it doesn’t have the same heaviness that brought the group into the spotlight with albums like Leviathan. Fans of QOTSA will most likely enjoy this, as sound-wise they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Unlike Mastodon, you can’t really say an album isn’t QOTSA enough when QOTSA has had such a varied sound throughout its run. Fans of At The Drive-In and Sparta, meanwhile, probably aren’t reading this because at this point in their life they’re career bartenders with ironic beards who moonlight as motorcycle enthusiasts. That’s not even a joke attempt, that’s factually what happens to post-hardcore fans once they hit their thirties.
Gone Is Gone only had their first rehearsals a week before their debut show this past April. Echolocation, as such, is reflective of a band that’s still laying the foundations for their sound and experimenting with different possible directions. The blend of sounds they’ve chosen here has created something that’s solid, but still leaves a desire to see what comes next.Echolocation, Gone Is Gone