PSYCHEDELIC ROCK!! Think Revolver-era Beatles and The Pretty Things.....with a dynamic New Millennium Edge and you have "THE GERRY ALVAREZ ODYSSEY".
Gerry Alvarez is a founding member, singer/guitarist + song writer for Canadian Garage-Punk Legends "THE GRUESOMES"!!
During the long breaks in the band's career GERRY has written, recorded and produced 11 original slices of POP-PSYCH ROCK reflecting a wide range of moods + emotion!
"CANDY PRANKSTER" is his first solo effort! A virtual cornucopia of driven rhythms + surreal passion commencing with the fuzzed-fueled and sly lyric humour of the title track "CANDY PRANKSTER" thru the catchy lead-in hook + warning of "FLY BY NIGHT" to the phased-out inverted guitar/vocal harmonies + far eastern drone of "URBAN SHAMAN + HEAVEN" then culminating with subtle effect on the LENNONESQUE inspired "THE TRAIL"!!
Superbly assembled and performed....We are proud to offer this aural delicacy to the world....BUT DON'T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT!!
THE TIME IS NOW! JUMP ON BOARD AND JOIN THE ODYSSEY!!!
**** COOL REVIEWS *** COOL REVIEWS *** COOL REVIEWS ****
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Gerry Alvarez Odyssey: Candy Prankster In Colored Fuzz!
Current mood: Dazed
The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey
Ricochet Sound Records and USA through Get Hip Distribution
Who knew that a punk fuzz purist would go completely psychedelic? Founding member/guitarist/singer for Canadian garage kings The Gruesomes created Gerry Alvarez Odyssey and made Candy Prankster in between time with them, and it's quite a contrast. The album has hints of psychedelic pop intertwined with dense, upbeat melodies. The title track has a heavy fuzz riff as an intro, but it's psych rock done with mostly chords. It's really interesting that there's little "psychedelic" effects, and no 12 string guitars. Just a basic song with a good fuzz riff and some great rhythm guitar that's both melodic and fuzzy. In compliment to the guitars that punch in like alternating bursts of colors, one's only left to consider the meaning of "Ratty desert is so dry, hushback clouds are in the sky, candy prankster takes you high". It's not really a trip, but an alternate reality without the hassle of the traveling. "The Prophet" is a little less of a freakout, but it has some nice licks that seem to be an inspiration from George Harrison's "Something". It's easy to say a song sounds like the Beatles, but George was the better guitarist of them, so it's more than complimentary. Can psychedelic rock be a bad trip? Not really. If it were, it would be called crap and not psychedelic rock. "It's Only Just A Dream" breaks the mold because it gives a vivid description of what sounds like a bad trip with "The sky is melting, slowly, it catches in the rainfall, a crowd is standing lonely, the hang their heads inside behind the wall", but the music has plenty of rough fuzz that alternates into acoustic refrains during the chorus, which also has great vocal harmonies. This one's pretty special, but hints start to come in of playing tapes backwards that are obviously Revolver inspired. Then again, we know how this works. Great rock 'n' roll steals from the past, but it's done right when it's stolen from the best. Additionally, it's been an awful long time since someone had the ambition to do that. Great song.
"Fly By Night" takes a little of a straightforward approach, but it relies on the overall theme of Candy Prankster of melodic fuzz songs that are both hard with a pop edge. That's a lot to say. I'm not sure anyone else created something out of those elements. Other standouts are "Urban Shaman", which is lush, but has a slight air of droning much like later works from The Church. "Heaven" is amazing! One is going to feel the obvious inspiration from "Tomorrow Never Knows", but Gerry deeper voice sounds better and has an air of authority. Not only that, but the solo guitar is great and the rhythm guitar feels like a droning, Tibetan chant, which John Lennon originally intented on "Tomorrow Never Knows", but "Heaven" is more convincing in using the effect that's it's hypnotic and mesmerizing, although it might carry a stronger attraction than it's inspiration since the perspective is Western instead of Eastern. Gerry Alvarez also shows a talent for deeper, electric folk music on "Universal Man", which relies on a more country like guitar at times that eventually intertwine with full powerchords to become a loud but still slow rock song. "In The Garden" is obviously similar to "I Am The Walrus" but with stronger vocal harmonies and a background that's psychedelic and instrumental, but the strings aren't as prominent.
Candy Prankster makes no bones about it's inspiration in John Lennon and his early psychedelic period, but the album somehow remains nearly "all about the fuzz" and therefore, has a heavy guitar chord base that is almost always loud and takes the lead, as in reminding one that it's still a culmination of '60s garage influences set to possibly more thoughtful songwriting, although the sky takes a common theme not only on "Is It Just A Dream" and "Heaven", but also "Open Up Your Mind" in its spaceship effects that are definitely somewhere off the ground, while "Time In Motion" causes the thought of anticipating the opening lyric "When the rain comes", but it suddenly feels more abrasive and eventually only shares the affinity to "Rain" with its prominent bass melody. It's also less pop friendly than "Rain" in that it has just a hint of being a little bit disturbing. "The Trail" is a perfect ending in it's gentler tempo that almost sings the listener "goodnight" by the image of riding off into the sunset that has a greater expanse as "a deep, dark ocean." Gerry Alvarez Odyssey take a big leap on Candy Prankster by putting the fuzz into deep psychedlic rock. In truth, "the fuzz" has always been a crucial ingredient to psychedelic rock more than garage rock. In conclusion, they put the fuzz BACK into it! The result is a creative, rock 'n' roll landscape deep in psychedelia but minus the 12 string Rick-o-sound. It's simultaneously basic and heavy pure fuzz all the way. After all, one can't take The Gruesomes out of a Gruesome, but The Gruesomes have a few tricks up their sleeves and Gerry Alvarez Odyssey will get you fuzzed up with Candy Prankster! Like anything great and fuzzy, turn it up to get the full effect.
Candy Prankster review by Paisley Umbrella(Texas,USA)
The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey/Candy Prankster CD review in Spanish from "Kick Out The Jams" Fanzine!
lunes 17 de septiembre de 2007
The Gerry Alvarez Odyssey
CANDY PRANKSTER (RICOCHET SOUND CD)
Gerry Alvarez el caveteen canadiense por antonomasia con los inolvidables Gruesomes, no deja la música de lado y nos sorprende con un trabajo que quizás no tiene mucho que ver con sus años de juventud y nos presenta "Candy Prankster" su particular "Revolver/Rubber Soul", una colección de canciones repletas de pop con efectos psicodélicos que se dejan escuchar con facilidad y lo mas importante se disfrutan mientras suenan, canciones que muestran una pasión por los Beatles asombrosa y salvando las diferencias pueden escucharse con la misma fijacion, temas arrebatadores como el magnifico "It´s Only Just a Dream" con esas guitarras al revés despegando, los efectos vocales en espiral del "Heaven", el envolvente bajo fusionado con las psicodélicas guitarras de "Time In Motion", la fantástica "The Trail" a medio tiempo y sobre todo canciones de pop enormes como "Candy Prankster" ó "The Prophet" que perduraran para los que se animen a escucharlas y con el mismo efecto reconfortante de volver a reencontrarse con esas dos maravillas de la historia del pop como los citados "Revolver" o "Rubber Soul". Un trabajo muy maduro a cargo de Gerry y sobre todo si te gustan esos sonidos, muy recomendable.
Gerry Alvarez's music winds through several genres of pop music, all of which hauntingly inspired in the style of Lennon and Martin.
The 11-song CD opens up with the title track, "Candy Prankster", a rock/pop sweet ride into the land where the 'candy prankster makes you high'. Vocally Alvarez rides a thin line between Lennon and Al Stewart.
Track 2, "the Prophet", is a medium-tempo tune that is more a page out of the Beatles than any other tune on the record. The chorus borrows from "In My Life" with falsetto harmonies that will sound familiar to all.
Our favorite track and most original is "Urban Shaman". Alvarez sings, 'oh, my name is freedom, the Urban Shaman' in a song supported by Rickenbacker guitars and chugging clean rhythm. Nice.
Track 10, "Time in Motion", is a trippy 60's/70's styled tune with present day production. The final track, "The Trail", is another psychedelic experience that is also closely tied to Alvarez's biggest influence.
The record goes through several incarnations of the music that has inspired Alvarez. Whether he intends to pay homage, carry the torch, or just make great music, the overall achievement is like listening to an old friend.
Earbuzz Review (April/07)
This is simply just an Album that OOZES with GERRY'S obvious Love for THE BEATLES, but also for Psychedelic Rock in General....Swirling Trippiness and Evocative Melody.....A Great Lyricist...Tackling Unique Subjects with Literate Style + Obvious Sense of Humour! A First Class Collection of Original Tunes To Groove To!!!
RATING: 5 STARS!!
*****JEFF FITZGERALD/AURAL INNOVATIONS/USA(JANUARY/07..ISSUE #35)
IS GERRY ALVAREZ the second coming of R+R saviour John Lennon?...Psychedelic Abundance + Rubber Soles!!
A member of the Legendary Montreal based Garage Band "THE GRUESOMES"......Gerry has Graduated from Bug Juice to Blotters of Cosmic Beings.
Captain Alvarez steers the Magic bus thru Doors of Perception + into the Land of Siddhartha!!
RATING: 5 STARS!!
*****CHRISTOPHER DUDA/SUGAR BUZZ MAGAZINE/USA(JANUARY/2007)
"POSITIVELY FANTASTIC.....It Works and Who could want anything More?!?"
RATING: 4 of 5 BLADES(STARS)
****LOWCUT Magazine/Denmark (April/06 issue#33)
"STRONG SONGS, a tight George Harrison Aesthetic....in a Warm Psychedelic Sound."
RATING: 3 1/2 of 5 STARS.
****--Mark Lepage/The Montreal Gazette/Canada
"In a sense the Album is GREATER then the sum of it's parts. A Psychedelic Mood is Created....Distinctive and Intelligent Tunes....A Really Satisfying Dream-Like Mood!!"
*****-Phil Suggitt/SHINDIG! MAGAZINE/UK
"A Venture into Dreamy Psychedelic-Tinged Rock....Gerry Alvarez Harvests from the Fertile Grounds of the Late 60's!! Feedy....Hypnotic Droning...The Work of a Computant Musician."
Rating: 3 of 5 STARS.
****-Martin Siberok/The Montreal Hour/Canada
" A Marvellous Mix of 60's Garage + Psychedelia with a Strong Influence of REVOVLER-ERA BEATLES Psychedelic Rock!"
...50 Odd Minutes of Music You can't Beat! A Big Thumbs Up from Me!
*****-Buster/Mod Radio UK(July/06)www.modradio.com