The boys in Gordon describe themselves as "psychedelic hip-hop pop/rock mixed into a sonic assault," which is accurate although they neglect to mention they're melodic, and generally cross-generational as well. Here, on their first, self-titled record, Gordon's effective grab-bag aesthetic is defined by the collective talents of earlier renegade LA bands. Dive Styler, Shining Path, Dashboard Prophets and the Freewheelers. Some of the best moments on the album reflect thoughtful and attentive songwriting efforts, especially on the part of guitarist Jeff Phillips and guitarist/vocalist Chris Dye who press for powerful rhythm at all costs through the rock scorchers. The lyrics, for those of us who still like to listen to such things in a day and age when it may be regrettable to do so, are surprising and wickedly fresh, particularly the the signature opener, "Fortified Grapes," "Grapes/fortified from a lemon tree/taste better/than animosity." A message for the masses that sells -- club lore has it that producer, wunderkind Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine, Stone Temple Pilots), signed Gordon to his hip new label, Fifty-Seven Music, before the band had ever performed a live show. No problem, comfortably bass-heavy tunes like "Better Daze," "Tickets to Freedom," "Glow" and "Mr. Cornucopia" work as well live as on Memorex. A respectable showing for a band that easily lives up to its hometown bravura.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Becky Byrkit