Heavy, crunchy guitars over an extremely tight rhythm section.
Add in a massive amount of heart and heaping dose of sci-fi wackiness and you get the return of the Galactic Cowboys. The Cowboys are scheduled to return to earth on November 17, bearing their latest release Long Way Back to the Moon from Mascot Records. GC fans will be over the moon when they give it a spin.
While I’ve been an ardent listener of death and black metal from the day King Diamond released Abigail, music from the lighter side like the Galactic Cowboys were always in my listening rotation, going back to the release of their s/t first record on Geffen. The record was so riff heavy, creating this massive wall of sound. I followed the Cowboys tour after tour, record after record until they disbanded in 2000 with the release of Let It Go. Seventeen years after their demise, the band returns and, quite honestly, they pick up where they left off… and that is a very good thing.
Galactic Cowboys are one of those rare bands who existed for decades without releasing a “bad” album. While some of their releases were stronger than others, there’s nothing in their catalog that this is not up to par. Even their ultra-wacky, independent release “Got the Shaft” is a really decent listen. I’ve had Long Way Back to the Moon in my car for a good number of days now. In case you’re wondering… yup… it’s all here. Monty Colvin’s slammin’ bass, Dane Sonnier’s brutal riffage, Alan Doss’ sure and steady drumming and Ben Huggins’ finely honed vocals. There’s no rust here. There’s no attempt to create something the band isn’t and never was. It’s exactly what you are expecting.
The clear winner on this new record is “Internal Masquerade,” which starts out with Dane’s guitar giving you a wake-up call from deep down in Texas. The track proceeds with the classic-style verses and harmonies we’ve grown to love and respect. Other clear highs are the dreamy “In the Clouds,” the ballad-y “Amiserawas” and the perfect song for 2017, “Drama.”
GC were known for lyrics that related to relationships, the earth and sci-fi adventures. Some of these are still here but I’d say that the band amped up the seriousness a bit with words to songs like “Agenda,” “Say Goodbye to Utopia,” “Losing Ourselves,” and “Blood in my Eyes.” In the dark age of the Social Justice Warrior, its good to have bands around who are willing to write songs that offer an alternative to the alleged status quo and put personal responsibility at the forefront.
The CD itself comes with full liner notes, some great artwork that’s going to look very familiar and a couple of not-so-hidden bonus tracks. The mixing on Back to the Moon is spot on and sounds great whether blasting from car’s speakers or on your high end headphones. In all, if you’ve been a fan of GC from day one like myself, you’ll love this record. If you’ve never heard GC, give “Internal Masquerade” a listen and judge for yourself. Quite honestly, if you’re a prog metal fan or you love that heavy early 90’s sound that existed for that brief period of time before grunge took over and nu-metal ruined everything, pick this up.