But for all of the above, I can respect the music of Gospel Cola and what they are trying to achieve, much in the same way that I can enjoy the music of Rush, Kansas, and Dream Theatre, music that also fails much of the time to reach me emotionally. For fans of this ultra-progressive type of music, dive right in... the water is great! Not only will you find pentatonic and eastern tone scales-a-plenty but some great intellectual lyrical fodder. The opening track, "Jesus Junk" finds the band taking a humorous look at the same sub-sub-culture that created WWJD bracelets while in "Silence" Hart implores "Why is there so much hate?" against some of the most emotive, chunky rhythms on the album. Fans of Kemper Crabb will not be disappointed as this medieval sage gets plenty of room to play mandolin, dulcimer, recorder, bozouki, harmonica, and ocarina. "The Circle Is Closed" is classic Crabb, with a slightly lilting melody and soaring chorus backed against a deluge of buzzing guitars, progressive percussion and monkish backing vocals. All in all, I admire what this band is trying to do and they are so close in achieving it. If they could only get that magic ingredient into their mix, perhaps the right producer, they would have a fine stew indeed!
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, July 2000.