15th Anniversary of Volcano 12 Apr 2020
Today is the 15th Anniversary of Volcano by Gatsbys American Dream. An ominous, poppy album about the arrogance of humanity at odds with their environment. More appropriate than ever during this era of pandemic.
Before I continue, I wanted to state there are no current plans (that I am aware of) to release Volcano or the self-titled album on vinyl. This is not for lack of trying, I assure you.
Volcano was a big album for Gatsbys. If you were fortunate enough to watch them grow throughout the years, the lead up to this album was remarkable. It was a logical step up to Volcano, and the band rightfully received the best reviews of the career.
The heavy themes that run the gamut from exuberant to threatening, the music itself seesaws between gloom and glee. The dark sounds of "Theatre" contrasts with the joyful chord progression of "Fable". Their songwriting and musicianship at their peak, the album simply sounds amazing.
The band had a three month window at home between tours to record Volcano with producer Casey Bates, and they certainly gave it their all. The utilized a map to insure each song had 2-3 connections to other songs on the album, providing a sense of familiarity as you kept listening. That soaring reprise from "Fable" at the end "Speaker of the Dead" is one of the most triumphant parts of an album that I can remember.
On a more personal note, this album had a positive effect on me as one of my earliest exposures to concept albums. Being focused more in the punk scene, there really wasn't a precedent for me to hear concept albums until Gatsbys and Coheed started coming into their own. While the concept album may have become an albatross around their necks as their careers progressed, their albums were executed so well. It opened my mind to a lot more music and I'm eternally grateful for that.
During this isolation, I've leaned heavily on media to keep me level. Volcano's questioning of the hubris of a ruling power has provided validation. Reassurance that I'm right to be concerned about how the people in charge have been handling this emergency. The end, whenever that might be, will be dark. Out of that dark will eventually bring light. Until then, our skies are black plumes.
Thanks for reading everyone. Please stay safe.