Although this album has been out for almost a year now, it was only uptill recently that I got my hands on it, and I immediately fell in love with it. Gary Lenaire, one of the founding member of the Tourniquet had been working on this album under the project name – Talking Snakes, with a number of featuring guest such as Bubby Lewis, Anna Sentina, Neil Swanson, Guy Ritter, Aly Frank and Andrijana Janevska. The album was released on the 29th of July 2017 and had been written, produced, engineered and mixed by Gary himself. The mastering and the album artwork was done by Pat Keane and Willie Frazier respectively.
Gary Lenaire has released 12 records, published over 100 songs worldwide, was nominated for six GMA (Dove) Awards, and received HM Magazine’s “Guitarist of the Year” award from 1994-1996. In context of this album, Gary quotes, “I don’t know what time is or if it exists at all. I have long felt that time, as perceived by humans, is an almost inescapable infatuation with the past and the future–longing for or regretting days gone by and anticipating or dreading the future. It is in that hypnotic daydream that we waste our experience, the actual present–reality as it happens. It is when we truly love that we lose all sense of time: In a song, a family gathering, meditation, prayer, a lover. In recording this record I found myself in that timeless space.”
“Stop the Bleeding” features Guy, opens up with blitzing guitar riff which pulverizes with an equally fast paced drums, lashing out crunchy, crispy and sweeping guitar solos throughout the song, keeping the spirits high. With “Wasted Fire” meatier riffs surface bringing out real groovy tunes, the drums supplement the song well but remains subdued in the background. I loved the vocal style here, reminded me bit of a Tom Arya approach to a song. With every verse, Gary brings in the barrage of tunes within his solos that one eagerly waits for it.
“No Time now” slows things down with an acoustic set and bringing out the charming voice of Aly Frank, which haunts right from the outset, literally gave me gooseflesh, and the slow build up on the guitar solo gives a mesmerizing finish. “Fell Siren to the Sea” fascinates with scintillating and hypnotic organ and rushes on a memorable guitar riff which gets murkier and delves into the realm of doom, not forgetting to blazing up with a wah-wah guitar solo.
An Instrumental “At the gates of paradise” gives a breather as it takes on an acoustic start and is pursued by melodic guitar solos throughout the song focusing majorly on timeless song writing and well-crafted and woven musical pieces delivering an incredible song which would resonate with you for long. “Monkeys in the family” starts off somewhat comic but within no time smashes with djent riff with plenty of soundscapes and ambient elements, and is full of energetic riffs juggling tones, overdrive, gain and passion.
“Sensory cynicism” slaps in some high tonal bass and a funky riffs on the guitars, with electronics muffled voice, and rugged distortions at the chorus bringing out a new style with plenty of flanger on the guitars as it progresses and evolves into something extraordinary.
“Axiomatic Primacy” delves into a psychedelic realm with the distortions lurking in and ready to plunge almost when the song takes you on a hypnotic and psychedelic trip (Reminded me of some of the earlier Pink Floyd sound). “Karmic Lords Of Ensō” has the trip hop start and pushes the song to Industrial metal sub-genre, and angry screams in the middle reminded me of Tom Arya. The song is very well executed, meshing so many genres so well.
And we come to the last song on the album, “Little Star” which attempts to sublet its vocal duties to a programmed voice, giving yet another surprise to the listener. It attempts to take you on a galactic trip and keeps it original as its finishes off this tremendous album.
Production : The production on this album was brilliant, the song writing powerful, and delivered really crunchy sound.
Conclusion : At this point I asked myself, “Why haven’t I heard much of Gary?” and make a mental note to listen some of his older stuff. There is so much variety of musical styles in this album that at every moment I felt pleasantly surprised. Be it for the hard hitting and groovy guitar riffs, or the beautiful tone set on the acoustic set, or the melodies have been crafted with great care. This album definitely demands multiple spins. If you haven’t heard it till now, I urge you to not wait anymore and go buy this album!
Written by: Ankit Sood
1. The Bleeding
2. Wasted Fire
3. No Time Now
4. Fell Sirens To The Sea
5. At The Gates Of Paradise
6. Monkeys In The Family Tree
7. Sensory Cynicism
8. Axiomatic Primacy
9. Karmic Lords Of Ensō
10. Little Stars
Gary Lenaire – Well everything
Video (audio) for ‘Stop The Bleeding’ (feat. Guy Ritter)
Video (audio) for ‘Wasted Fire’
Video (audio) for ‘Fell Sirens To The Sea’