Gary Sunshine – The nerve of some people
Throwing the listener straight into the deep end of the pool Gary Sunshine challenges perceptions with an opening track that sounds like a corroboration between Beck, Dylan, Cohen and The Suicide Twins.
It’s romanticism wrapped up in barfly eloquence, and by dragging an unflinching gutter monologue into the light Gary has laid his cards on the table for all to see.
For all intents and purposes it doesn’t sound like he is here to beg for your patronage, but instead is spilling his musical guts out and leaving us to take it or leave it.
There’s a refreshing ‘I’ve been around the block a few times and this is it, make of it what you will’ attitude that pervades the song and gives it a great deal of power.
For an opening track it sets the bar high, but ‘a gentleman with a gun strapped to his ankle’ confirms that it wasn’t a solitary fluke, as does every other subsequent song.
This is an album that’s the soundtrack to wakening up in an unfamiliar flop house with bloodstains on the sheets, the shakes, a fresh tattoo and a woman whose wearing your grandmothers wedding ring lying next to you.
Depending on your outlook that could be a good, or bad, thing.
Regardless of whether it is your thing or not it does provide a voyeuristic thrill.
By the time it checks in at ‘Mexico’ we’re on a road trip to hell and past the point of no return.
The Rubicon is the rear view mirror and we’ve committed ourselves to seeing this out.
People come and people go, there’s good times and bad times, the sun rises and sets on us and there’s some countrified and bluesy fear and loathing going on.
In fact a great deal of this is akin to gonzo literature put to music.
Every song is a short story, a little snapshot of a time and place with fully formed characters living in it, and then you take a step back and the whole album is a loose story of recollections of a wandering troubadour who has clocked a great deal of miles on the road.
It’s rare to claim that an album is a ‘must have’, but Gary Sunshine has made one here.
It’s a classic in every sense of the word. A slap in the face for anyone who mistakenly claims that no one is doing anything of worth any more.