Gonetcha – Mission – Album Review
Gonetcha began its journey into music in 2017 and only a year later, here we are already with album number two called Mission, the follow-up record to the debut release Métro de Pensées. As many of you know – that’s an impressive workload…but I have the feeling when you’re in the creative space that Gonetcha finds itself in right now, the vibe comes naturally & the desire to make music reigns supreme. There’s clearly a high desire to entertain in this project. Over twelve new cuts on Mission, Gonetcha continues to flex the expressive potential that exists within the limitless possibilities for its own sound, exploring & roaming over a vast amount of terrain on this versatile, rock-inspired record.
Results may vary of course, but that’s pretty normal for any new project out there. Going into its second year, Gonetcha is still developing & refining the sound, innovating the ideas, and settling into its own groove. While that can always come with a few kinks here & there along the way, there’s also no doubt that Gonetcha is in search of its own thing…what you get on Mission is quite different from a lot of what’s happening out there right now in music, and in the long run, I’m a big believer that this is the kind of effort that pays off. If not monetarily, at the very least on an artistic level; there’s no point in simply walking the path that’s already been carved out by others when you can blaze your own trail – that’s where the real Mission comes in…Gonetcha is here to intentionally provide a different experience.
A lot of this record certainly connects…a great hybrid experience full of punk, rock, prog, & experimental ideas, sounds & styles, the songs on Mission create a textural atmosphere that feels like you could reach out & touch it. Right off the bat in the opening track “Dawn Beat” I could tell that Gonetcha and I would likely get along well – the short instrumental beginning serves somewhat as an intro into the whole record but still offers a ton when it comes to the tone of the gripping guitar sounds we hear. Compliments to the chef! “Dawn Beat” isn’t a typical beginning by any stretch – but Mission also goes on to reveal it’s no typical record either. “Dawn Beat” establishes the vibe in the atmosphere of Gonetcha’s music, even without words, and in my opinion, that’s one hell of an enticing sound. Right at the like, forty-two second mark…when that extra layer of guitar comes in to solo overtop, I was hooked.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gonetcha’s music or it’s your first time experiencing it like it was for me, the largest adjustment we need to make in listening happens quickly as vocals are added to the equation on “Lobster Game.” We’ve heard many incarnations of voices like these from The Editors to Interpol, She Wants Revenge, The National & so on…it’s that deep-vocal sound that some people dig & some don’t, which I suppose is fairly true of how we react to different styles of singers of all kinds in all types of music. In my opinion, the most essential part is whether or not the tone suits the song or style of the mood, attitude, & sound – and I’ll admit, that first impression is definitely a jolt to the system with the bouncy & playful rhythm of the vocal-flow contrasting in a strange way with the funk/rock-inclined energy. It’s bound to throw a few people out there when it comes to what they might be expecting to hear. Impossible to deny the bass-grooves that supply the energy of this cut, I dig the distant sound of the guitar tones that float through the verses and the smart backing vocal-layers adding in the right emphasis & punch to thicken the strength in the overall sound. I have no doubt that “Lobster Game” will immediately raise-up an eyebrow or two out there…but there’s still a lot of fun & entertainment to be found here.
“The Big If” has the advantage of everyone listening to Mission now knowing what to expect in-full from the combination of vocals & music in Gonetcha after hearing “Lobster Game,” and as a result, I think “The Big If” becomes a track that’s much easier to accept & get into. The bass definitely stands-out as a star here, especially at the beginning of this tune as we slide into this third cut from Mission and in the mid-song breakdown. The added space in the pace of this song works really well in adding definition and character to this tune that remains memorable throughout the verses. The chorus begins a pattern of rapidly paced choruses that you’ll find throughout this record at many points. “The Big If” has layers that work on all fronts from the simple straight-ahead beat to the wild guitar sounds, but if you’re listening closely, it’s those bass-lines that are holding the fort when it comes to supplying the rhythm and groove in the smoothest parts of “The Big If.” I think this track has a solid chance of connecting with the people out there due to how insanely rad the opening of “The Big If” is and how smooth it sounds – it really makes you want to keep listening & rooting for Gonetcha.
“Pumped Up” finds a seriously addictive groove through its bass-lines, and I’d say drifts closer to that indie/alternative sound that you’d find in a creative & artistic rock-project like Interpol. It’s got just enough confident funk in its step through the bass that you can’t really help but get right into this tune. As it heads out of the chorus and into the second minute…I mean, C’MON people, that bass sounds insanely cool doesn’t it? The psychedelic vibes supplied by the wild guitar tones and the hypnotic movements made on the microphone make for a highly entertaining and artistic performance that shifts solidly into fast-pace smooth-rock in the chorus. Great ideas in the music & writing on “Pumped Up” and I dig the more playful & inviting sound this song has & the empowering attitude found in the lyrics.
The verses of “Time Zone” worked extraordinarily well – I think Gonetcha has crushed some really kickass rhythms in the vocals exceptionally well in those moments. Truly wild stuff really – the melody in the vocals and the perfect way they hit the metering & pace with technique, style, character & tone – whatever Gonetcha is doing here completely works throughout the verse. I honestly don’t know how or what could have taken “Time Zone” to the next level from there…and truthfully, it wasn’t the chorus that did it for me, but the instrumental section that carries this song to its brilliant ending instead. It’s a tough one…in many ways I don’t know what else we could have asked of Gonetcha here – that verse really stands out for its awesomeness and chances are any part that would come afterwards would seem like it falls a bit short of the intended mark…hard to take points away when it’s due to the exceptionally high-standards that this tune imposes on itself through the verses.
“Eight Stops” almost worked to the opposite effect of “Time Zone” – on this cut, it was the verse I felt needed a bit more life in its veins, but the pre-chorus and chorus of “Eight Stops” really brought this track to the next-level. The way the guitars start movin’ in the pre-chorus and the impressive energy that “Eight Stops” slides into in the chorus itself, is massively addictive. I know I’ve sworn several times in past reviews that counting in music is generally one of the things I can’t stand the most – but call me crazy, there was something about the way that Gonetcha comes about it on “Eight Stops” that I just couldn’t help but succumb to. In many ways, I think this track likely has some of the most accessible hooks overall…it could likely be a favorite on the record for many people out there. I absolutely loved the sound of the soaring guitar notes that surge through the chorus of “Eight Stops” and the wild solo that carries this song to its glorious finale. Definitely a highlight on the record overall and certainly one of the strongest endings to any song on Mission – something about the sound of “Eight Stops” seems like it would be a track that the people out there would really respond to for its single-worthy sound. As much as I felt like I wanted more oomph in the vocals of the verse at times, I can’t deny that this cut eventually completely won me over…every time I spun this record I seemed to dig this track more.
Almost heading into psychedelic terrain occupied by Zappa at the beginning of “Submarine Wreck” – the opening of this track was bulletproof. As Gonetcha moved into the rapid-flow of the vocals for the chorus, I found myself wanting that space that exists in the verse…it wasn’t so much that the quicker pace of the vocals didn’t fit, it’s more that it seems to be a go-to move & has been tested many times throughout the previous songs. In my humble estimation, where Gonetcha has the most room to improve, is in recognizing just how strong the instrumentation speaks in the music of this project – much of it, specifically on the uniqueness of songs like “Submarine Wreck” can certainly carry our interest. A lot of the times, that rampant surging of vocals streaming over-top can dominate the majority of what we hear as listeners; essentially I’m saying that less is more sometimes. The verses of “Submarine Wreck” for example, really stand out to us as a result of that use of space…whereas the rapid-fire vocals can tend to sound more similar in the context & confines of a full album. No harm in saying I want more of a good thing – there’s great ideas that are seriously well executed in this cut…if anything, it shows more of the potential that exists within Gonetcha and exposes some terrain to explore in the future.
The most novelty-esque song of the record, or largest departure from the rest, is likely “What About.” There’s a great hypnotic sound to this cut, diving once again into psychedelic, bizarre, weird & strange ideas with full confidence, committed to going in whatever crazy directions the music may take Gonetcha. Almost heading into Primus or Oysterhead territory here with the impressive tone of the bass, wildly expressive guitars, and decidedly odd vocals…so if you’re looking for something that’s a bit more off the beaten path, “What About” is definitely for YOU. The texture and sound of the beginning in the music is SO COOL…the guitar tones and notes in the atmosphere are awesome, the backing vocals are off-the-charts awesome…there’s a lot of untamed wildness & creativity on this tune. Tone-wise, there’s no question that the vocals are struggling to find the right notes in the melody of the verse, but the creativity & execution of the pre-chorus/chorus once again brought the best out of Gonetcha. It definitely reaches for more bizarre ideas than the rest, but there’s a captivating set of ideas in this ambitious track…I think “What About” ended up being a pretty memorable tune on this record.
“What You Stole” was very similar to the experience and overall assessment of “Submarine Wreck.” I think this is another spot where the space of the verse really suits the sound of Gonetcha well…and I think you can hear that the rapid pace of the vocals on the chorus are potentially costing the song. You want that energy in the rhythm & flow but you still want it to come out sounding like you’re not completely out of breath…and at times, the vocals sound like they could use some oxygen here. Idea-wise, I think this cut delivers fairly well…I do like how the vocals take their cues to spring-off the energy and tones of the bass…I dig the sound of the guitars and I feel like each time I’ve heard a solo from Gonetcha it’s been highly-impressive to listen to. Definitely some great musicianship and instrumentation in this project and I really dig that there always seems to be time made for this to shine in the songs throughout Mission as well. The low-tones of the vocals at spots around like, the ninety-second mark…those sound fantastic…and I also really dig how the song transitions from its verse to chorus so effortlessly, sliding right into the next part of the structure’s evolution with gripping energy.
There are times where we get so locked into our own ideas and moment in time that it’s not until we objectively stand back & examine the material that we see a lot of the same moves in a certain portion of the music we make. Around the point of “Spine Quirk” on Mission, we know that spring forth from the space in the verse is going to launch itself into another fast-paced barrage of vocals when it comes to the chorus…and it’s not that it’s the same hook as Gonetcha is using in other tracks, but it does inarguably end up sounding similar and likely will to the average everyday listener out there. The effect of that ends up being more wear & tear on the ideas & sound over those repeat listens…even though each song presents a different idea, using a similar approach tends to also make the material almost too cohesive or sometimes not quite diverse enough. Mixed on this one…I liked what’s happening in the music quite a bit…this would be an example of where taking that extra space in the vocals might pay off in letting the instrumentation have more time in the spotlight…like LISTEN to this track as it heads into the second minute, that’s deadly! I suppose what I’m saying is that vocals can tend to be that one layer too many at times…there’s a lot of moments where the music could certainly speak for itself on this album. And I’m not saying they’re bad by any stretch of the imagination…it’s a niche sound/style for sure, but they work – all I’m saying is that the vocals tend to be uber-involved in every song…and that every time Gonetcha launches into a stunning instrumental section, its proving that they don’t always need to be. LOVED the searing guitar tones on “Spine Quirk” as it heads to its spectacular ending.
Songs like “Unexpected” puzzle me, I’m not gonna lie. Verse-wise, I think it’s rock-solid once again; chorus-wise, I’m not quite sure how Gonetcha didn’t want another run at this one in the studio. There’s an undeniable imbalance here…the verse has a lively vibe goin’ on, and the chorus seems to fall short of bringing the track to the next-level, almost dragging the energy backwards even when you can hear it’s attempting to move it forward. Make sense? It’s one of the most bizarre tracks I’ve heard this year for its consistency…the last forty-five seconds or so were like, pure genius – and where did that come from? Up until that point, “Unexpected” seemed like a track that had lost its focus and could have benefitted from a few more attempts at maximizing the sound & energy of the chorus…I’m not gonna say that the final forty-five seconds saves the song altogether, but it does give it a moment of redemption & memorable highlight. Doesn’t sound quite like Gonetcha at its most focused here, by comparison to the rest of the songs you’ll find on Mission, “Unexpected” seems to wander in & out of the energy it attempts to establish. Of all songs on the album, this was probably the song I was most on the fence about including with the rest of the set…it sounds like a newer idea that could have been rushed. I have NO IDEA how the insanely amazing ending of this track comes from what seems like out of nowhere – but I have to completely admit that whatever is happening in that section of time on this song, is a sound that should certainly be explored further by Gonetcha…that’s one of the highlight moments on Mission without question as far as my ears are concerned & definitely “Unexpected” when it comes up.
Ending on “The Messenger,” we’ve become accustomed to a few dissonant tones in the vocals along the way that affect the melody…but it’s important to note just how exceptional some of these ideas are. The writing of “The Messenger” is ambitious, adventurous, and stunning really – I think there’s more maturity in the structure & sound of this final tune than any other on the record, once again hinting at where the potential of the music of Gonetcha might head in the future. Sound-wise, it’s so close to where it needs to be…not far off at all, preserving enough of the tone in the character of the melody that we can still clearly hear how exceptional the overall ideas really are. I think the hooks in the chorus of “The Messenger” are some of the strongest on the record and once more, those guitar tones and bass-lines stand out in all the right ways for their creativity and colorful input into the sound of the song. It’s a satisfying ending to what’s been a definitive journey into the musical realm of Gonetcha – lots of reasons to be excited about what you hear, but even more reasons to be excited about where it can go.
Find out more about Gonetcha from the official website at: https://www.gonetcha.com/