July 24, 2024
Gus G

Gus G. is «Fearless» (2018) with a smartly eclectic and innovatively lucid new album

When I first picked up Gus G.‘s new record Fearless at Tower Records in Japan and spun it in my discman on my tatami-floor, I was quite surprised. Like many others, I expected crazy-shredding and heavy riffs I would barely be able to hum. But then, I realised my subjectivity took the best of me.

I should have known better. After having listend to Gus G.‘s work for the past few years, to me, the name Gus G. stands for eclectic, creative, and out-of-the-box guitar playing that can support the song without overloading it––although it can also just burn through the song like a fire-tornado. These attributes mean, that he is not only the metal shredder many label him as. Gus has proven to be able to step to the front of the stage as well as to leave the spotlight to other musicians, no matter if it’s with Firewind, Ozzy Osbourne or other projects. Radwimps

Riley Rowe commented, “Although Gus G may be a household name due to his loaded resume, I’m not sure that this release is nearly as innovative or attention-grabbing as other modern guitarists like Tosin Abasi (Animals as Leaders) or Jason Richardson. This record may appeal to those with a knack for 80’s hard rock, yet besides the catchiness, Fearless just does not warrant much beyond a lukewarm, nostalgic listen.” I guess, I do like Fearless, because I do have a knack for catchy 80’s hard rock tunes, but hey, that is something many of us look for in today’s music.

Andrew Small critiqued, “Rather than the instrumental metal laced with copious amounts of dazzling guitar wizardry that I expected. I heard something more akin to an amalgamation of Three Day’s Grace and Steel Panther.” Gus G.‘s previous album, Brand New Revolution (2015)––one of my favourite albums in recent times––is also characterised by strong and catchy songs, not only shredding, just like Fearless. And, I feel, the new album is a logic continuation.

Another unflattering comment comes from Dr. A.N. Grier, who writes, “There’s nothing spectacular here and, as far as rock albums go, it’s far from top tier. There are a couple peak moments but the album is rather inconsistent and loaded with filler.” I disagree. Fearless offers me a dynamic listening experience that leads this listener across various sonic and emotional landscapes. That means, there will be stronger and less strong songs. Nevertheless, I don’t feel there are any tracks that do not have their legitimacy to be on the record.

At last, a couple of comments I can agree with. According to Kyle Scott, “Gus G. has no problem keeping the listener in one place. His chords nothing short of captivating ensuring that you are listening. “Fearless” is the latest addition to Gus’ legendary reputation.” And, Andy Thorley adds, “We already knew he could play like a proper guitar god. What we didn’t know, perhaps was that he – and his new band – could write songs so distinct from Firewind. It’s amazing what you can do when you have no fear.”

In closing: Fearless is a smartly eclectic and innovatively lucid album. It celebrates traditional hard rock with outstanding songwriting and musicianship, and a high-gloss production with all the necessary oomph. Recorded as a trio with producer Dennis Ward on vocals and bass and Will Hunt on drums, Fearless provides an excellent listening experience to anyone considering themselves connoisseurs of rock music –– I dare you.

Fearless by Gus G. was released on 20 April 2018 through AFM Records.

Gus G - Fearless (2018)

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albumsthatrock.com

YouTuber + host of the #FHTZ online music show with co-producer @simonkurt + marketing & digital content producer + university lecturer

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