Friday, November 28, 2008

Reviews:: The Gunshy I Gave Too Much Time To The Wine

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It’s very rare you get to see a career arc unfold in front of you… well, in one release. Thanks to the good people over at Yerbird records, you can now get a collection of new songs (I Gave Too Much Time To The Wine) from The Gunshy and remastered versions of some early work on one disc for a mere $12. Now that is something to be thankful about!

You see, The Gunshy (AKA - Matt Arbogast and a few scattered friends), has slowly evolved from an emotional, stripped down solo act into a full band affair, laced with horns and strings but throughout the transformation one thing has remained constant: Matt’s ability to tell a story. Without his raspy voice and stirring narratives the transition from a spoken word pieces to horns, strings and female vocals that beef up Days of Darling and One For The Beasts would leave the listener struggling for steady footing. Instead, you just feel like you are getting to see exactly what makes Adam’s heart tick and what drives him creatively.

And to be fair, critics have never questioned his creativity, (especially after writing tracks from the scattered letters his grandfather sent in WW2), but more importantly, no one has ever challenged his honesty. He’s open about his insecurity as a musician and harbors an unhealthy obsession about how his work is judged. With the constant comparisons to how he sounds like Tom Waits instead of people focusing on what he has to say or playing to empty venues, Adam openly struggles to put it all behind him. He fixation on the negatives gives the impression that his music is killing him slowly, but somehow it's the only thing that keeps him breathing.

Make no mistake, this isn't a greatest hits collection. I Gave Too Much Time To The Wine is a unique collection that lets fans look back to the past, while Adam focuses on the future. On a casual listen, the results might polarize long time fans of The Gunshy that pine for the days when Adam stood alone with his guitar (like the beautiful For Julia or I Haven’t Been Drinking For You). but for me his ability to thicken up his sounds without losing the purity of his soul is just as impressive. And for the unlucky masses that have never heard his work, this collection of EPs is a great way to get introduced.

Posted at 9:03 AM by ack :: 0 comments

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