GYGAX - 2nd Edition
Release date - March 16, 2018 (Creator-Destructor Records)
From the ashes of the legendary Thin Lizzy arose the Black Star Riders…..and following them like well intentioned apprentices are Gygax. On this, their second album (following 2016’s Critical Hits), the Californians are letting their obvious love of the Lizzy guitar sound flow, and telling anyone who scoffs at them to blow it out their butts. 2nd Edition is less heavy than Gygax’s first album, often sounding like a blues-influenced Ten Years After, but if you are going to let the 1970s influence your sound, you might as well emulate masters of the hard rock craft.
There will be many who will decide that this is too derivative of what has come before, but that is simply unfair. 2nd Edition is heavily influenced by 70s rock, but it does not sound dated the way many 70s albums from the masters of the era do. The guitar harmonies of Bryant Throckmorton and Jeff Potts are well written, talented and memorable. The somewhat rough vocals of bassist Eric Harris also fit the vibe of the music perfectly, being neither too smooth, nor lacking raw talent.
Stand out tracks include “Dice Throwers & Rock’n’Rollers”, “Pure Hearts” and “Second Wind”. But really, with the exception of the unabashedly laid-back, drumless, blues-filled “Heavy Meddle”, there aren’t any bad tracks on this 8 song offering. For fans of 70's style hard rock, you can’t go wrong with this one.