REVIEW: The Guru – Go Easy

TheGuruFeature

Artist: The Guru
Album: Go Easy
Label: Seagreen Records
Genre: Funk / Indie Rock

Most modern scene music is sad. It’s mostly emo music or music based around some form of punk rock, laced with emotions, with typical lyrics about break ups and heart break and ex-girlfriends and angst. Connecticut’s The Guru are not without their share of meaningful lyrics, but it’s not emo music by any stretch. The Guru are a white Earth Wind & Fire with Modest Mouse, Brock-era vocals and more indie songwriting. Their second full length, Go Easy, is their best release yet.

Some of the songs on the album have soul influences (“Guacamole”), some have a sort of country sound (“Indian Day”), but no matter what style they seem to be tackling, they give their own spin of it. The songwriting is well crafted, the structures are typical of a pop song; these songs are laced with solid harmonies and sneaky guitar solos. The guitar interplay on “Tony Waves” is harmony work that generally only 80s hair metal bands and the Allman Brothers ever attempted. I’d put that song as the band at their best, with its sing along chorus and short but sweet bridge song (with memorable lyrics like “This is where we live, this is where we die”).

The guitar solo (or weird instrumental section, or unusual dual guitar section, or whatever you want to call it) of the song “Cow” stands out as a unique idea most bands wouldn’t even attempt doing. The Guru clearly have influences from all over the scene and time, from bands they’ve played with like The Growlers and Tigers Jaw to old funk bands like KC & The Sunshine Band. If you’re intrigued by the idea of putting those two scenes in a blender and mixing it until it is one liquid, you should check out this band.

It isn’t without its flaws, though. It gets weaker towards the end; I’m not obsessed with all the songs, but I do enjoy it all.The final two or three songs verge on more experimental territory, and they’re still fun to listen to, but I’m not in love with them like I am with the rest of the album. I doubt anyone could put this on and not have a good time for the first twenty minutes.

Overall, this album has hardly a bad song on it. It’s short for a full length – eight tracks clocking in at less than half an hour – but considering its still longer than an EP, I don’t think I can hold that against a band. It will probably make my top 10 list, but it’s not going to get the world’s greatest grade because some of the songwriting still lacks that final knockout punch. What’s more than that, though, is this will probably still make my end of the year top 10 list, and this is only the band’s sophomore effort. With the growth they’re showing from first record to second, I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for what comes next from them.

Rating: 8.6/10
Review by: Dan Bogosian (Twitter)

Dan Bogosian

I finished school with a music theory degree. Before I finished school, I was a janitor. You really should apologize to all the janitors you've ever had. You hurt them. Seriously. You did.

But, now that we've cleared that up and you called your high school janitor, know that I quit being a janitor to pursue writing about music. So here I am, and here you are, and hey how are you?
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