David Galas – A Long Hard Road to Nowhere

[Reviewed by Peter Marks]

With a title like this you know things are about to get interesting. For many years now, David Galas has been hard at work releasing some of the most exhausting and exhilarating records you’re going to find out there. The intensity of his solo albums has only been matched by the spaces between them; this is the first new material he’s issued under his own name in seven years. It doesn’t sound like they’ve been an easy seven, either, as a matter of fact you’d not be far off the mark if you sensed resignation.

Bitterness can sometimes prove to be it’s own reward.

Previously he’d chronicled the working man’s struggle to keep above water in this two-tiered society which is now America, for this one he’s put down the pick axe and fired up the steamroller. Galas is happiest firing out vitriol in between those instrumental Sect tracks of his we know and love with tunes like “Black Cloud” and “Last Boat Out”; there’s an atmosphere one encounters along this road to nowhere and it’s poisonous. I’ve been trying to work out just how it is that he’s managed to cajole these menacing compositions into a cohesive whole and as per usual it remains a mystery.

He’s probably going to knock it on the head as a solo artist with this one, where do you go from a place like “Autumn Sun”. Piece by piece, note by note and word after word finds him dismantling this special little world his music incarnates but there’s no sadness to it, if anything it is a cathartic exercise for him. In order to grow as a musician he’s determined to make one final fiery statement and use up every last bit of creativity this place has to offer; call it scorched Earth if you like, I’m calling it glorious.

Given that he’s a bassist first and foremost, the foundations of each entry on here are impervious to flaws. Much like a newly poured slab of concrete which has been smoothed out to a sheen, Galas builds upon it by accentuating his thuggish, churning rhythms with some rather profound words. I won’t give it all away but the concept of time scratching away at all we accomplish in life gets more than it’s share of airtime. These are no mere nihilistic odes to the void, they are guideposts lighting the way towards an end we’re all hurtling towards faster than we’d like.

Rather than fighting upstream against the current, ‘A Long Hard Road to Nowhere’ embraces it; as the years dim and the sun goes down we find ourselves smiling wryly knowing that this is how it has always been, nice to have the company.

David GalasA Long Hard Road to Nowhere
Digital 2018

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