The term "super group" is tossed around a lot these days, perhaps too much, really. Perhaps it's because "side project" would diminish the perceived value of the work? Regardless, I've always felt it puts an asterisk next to a band's name that is otherwise completely unnecessary.
With that in mind, we have the debut release from Gone Is Gone, a self-titled EP that clocks in at right around 31:00 and provides a fairly unique and yet nostalgic listening experience. Unique in that the album doesn't sound like anything else coming out right now. It is in no way a mirror image of any of the members source bands. It's nostalgic in that it has an almost late 90's alternative sound, yet it fits closer to a subdued Mastodon than Queens of the Stone Age.
Gone Is Gone consist of Troy Sanders (singer/bass player in Mastodon), Troy Van Leeuwen (guitarist from Queens of the Stone Age), Tony Hajjar (drummer from At The Drive-In and Make Zarin, who has previously worked with Van Leeuwen on a previous project.
The group has crafted a truly entertaining listening experience. Sanders' vocals are toned down just a notch from what he delivers on a typical Mastodon track and at times, vaguely reminiscent of Adam Gontier (Three Days Grace/Saint Asonia).
The EP begins with "Violescent" a sludgy and punchy tune that delivers the familiar sounds of Troy Sanders' vocals while at the same time distancing itself from anything he's done before. Immediately following is one of the highest points on the EP, "Starlight." This track provides one of the most unique instrumental and vocal performances on the album, setting Sanders' vocals to an atmospheric track guaranteed to grip you on your first run through this EP. Next up is the lead single, "Stolen From Me," which perfectly encapsulates the sound and feel of this record. Check out the video below!
The remainder of the EP is fairly consistent. This is definitely the sound of a band finding their sound. Assuming their full length album is all new material, I'll be more than curious to check that out as well, as Gone Is Gone have laid the groundwork for unique band that stands firm on their own.
Given the respective bands each of these members hail from, I highly suggest taking advantage of any opportunity you get to see them perform live. Due to the respective bands these guys are all committed to already, that may be a rare treat. With that in mind, jump at your chance to see a live show.
The self-titled debut EP from Gone Is Gone is available on July 8th. Go check them out!