Reviews Gonzales Checkmate

Gonzales

Checkmate

It shouldn’t take a Johnny Cash song to make a record take off. With Checkmate, from Gonzales, that’s exactly the problem. The first hook to really pull you in comes on “Ring of Fire,” which sets a positive tone for everything that follows after it. Unfortunately, that’s only the final three songs.

At their heart, Gonzales seek to be a big guitar, balls-to-the-wall rock band, the kind that screams macho energy and falls somewhere in the neighborhood of Nashville Pussy, with southern influences and unabashed Lemmy adoration. Unfortunately, the first six songs really aren’t that laden with memorable hooks and the vocals are adequate but not gripping. Everything is decent, but it doesn’t jump out. On “Fallen” there are some solos that capture attention, and the intro to “Heaven Gone Wrong” continues the trend, but, generally speaking, there’s little variety to be gained, and seemingly one tempo until “Ring of Fire” kicks off. Lyrics including “My baby knows how to blow my mind” in the latter are indicative of the record’s tone.

After the cover song, the subtle rockabilly of “Go to Hell” is easier to discern, with some serious shredding filling the voids. The latter songs shift the sound a little further from the guitar, utilizing more backing vocals and choruses. This creates a more cohesive sound and the solos feel complementary instead of the driving force. The well-rounded rock’n’roll of “Fiesta” and “My Son,” at the record’s end, offers potential for a compelling rock record.

It’s not so much that Checkmate is a bad record, but it’s without focus and ends up rather forgettable.

6.5 / 10Loren
Advertisement
VEGAS - Not Ever banner
Leave a comment

6.5 / 10

6.5 / 10

Share this content
Advertisement
VEGAS - Not Ever skyscraper
Recent reviews

Broadway Calls

Meet Me On The Moon

8.0 / 10 Broadway Calls - Meet Me On The Moon album cover
200 Words Or Less

Meet Me On The Moon is a teaser single for the new LP, Sad In The City, which also happens to be Broadway Calls’ first new full-length in almost a decade (which ...

Mutant Reavers

Monster Punk

6.0 / 10 Mutant Reavers - Monster Punk album cover

Back in the late nineties I started listening to horrropunk. To this day it is one of my favourite scenes. Back in the day I listened to basically everything I ...

Kissed by an Animal

Kissed by an Animal

4.0 / 10 Kissed by an Animal - Kissed by an Animal album cover

Kissed by an Animal is getting the vinyl treatment a year after release of their self title album from 2019. To describe these guys, well it’s hard to nail down ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

  • Logo, white text on blue (preferred): PNG | PDF | AI
  • Logo, white text on transparent: PNG | PDF | AI
  • Logo, black text on transparent: PNG | PDF | AI
  • Logo + URL, white text on transparent: PNG | PDF | AI
  • Logo + URL, black text on transparent: PNG | PDF | AI
  • Site icon (piano keys): PNG | PDF | AI

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.