Land of Gypsies

Land of Gypsies

LAND OF GYPSIES is a new project born from the ashes of LA Classic Rock […]
By Chris Hicklin
February 28, 2022
Land of Gypsies - Land of Gypsies album cover

LAND OF GYPSIES is a new project born from the ashes of LA Classic Rock outfit GANG OF SOULS. The members are very experienced in the field of Hard Rock with French vocalist Terry Ilous boasting a résumé that includes being a founding member of XYZ and former member of GREAT WHITE, while Fabrizio "Fab" Grossi is something of a production legend having worked with Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai, Alice Cooper and a whole raft of other global household names. As a result, there is an undeniable slickness to this record, the production techniques are modern but give it a sound reminiscent of the 80s Hair Rockers, while the playing and writing exudes a more bluesy, earthy quality akin to bands like BAD COMPANY.

Kicking off with "Believe," this track is a good introduction to the album, it's unfussy, bluesy, soulful and has a good chunky riff backing it up that isn't thrown in your face. The backing vocals are smooth and nicely layered up, while Ilous' lead vocals are assured and passionate, he has a great rock voice, think Danny Bowes of THUNDER and you're in the right ballpark. "Shattered" continues in similar style, it's got a bit more of a boogie about it and features the first of several impressive guitar solos from Serge Simic that litter this LP. The lyrics tend to be fairly digestible affairs, nothing too intellectually stretching, and the tracks are kept to radio-friendly three- or four-minute chunks with no exceptions. Most of it is as soft as Jon Bon Jovi's perm, but that's not a bad thing.

There are a number of moments of exceptional musicianship on this album, some of the most notable are to be found in the breakdowns on "Somewhere Down the Line" the first of which sees a bass solo from Fabrizio "Fab" Grossi, followed right up by an precisely judged guitar solo, the second of which has some excellent drumming from AJ Morra. Grossi continues to impressive on "Rescue Me" which opens with some beautifully played acoustic, while Grossi's bass is reminiscent of the technically but highly tasteful playing of someone like Robert Deleo. This song builds slowly and ends up a shamelessly fist pumping sing-along rocker.

I enjoyed the introduction to "Ordinary Man" a lot, it's a great riff that is accompanied by almost jazzy organ playing from Eric Ragno, who's contributions to the album are invaluable. They exhibit excellent compositional skills at times, the riffs and melodies are kept simple, but they have a skill of arranging them in very interesting ways such as in "Long Summer Day," the longest track on the album and it keeps you guessing, and brings you up and then down, and then up again, they will have audiences in the palm of their hands when they material like this on the road.

I can't fault much about the production on this record, or the quality of performance. It is good honest song writing, straight forward, unpretentious Melodic Rock.

8 / 10









"Land of Gypsies" Track-listing:

1. Believe
2. Shattered
3. Trouble
4. Give Me Love
5. Somewhere Down the Line
6. Rescue Me
7. Ordinary Man
8. Run Away
9. Long Summer Day
10. Rambling Man
11. Get It Right

Land of Gypsies Lineup:

Terry Ilous - Lead & backing vocals
Serge Simic - Lead and Rhythm Guitars
Fabrizio "Fab" Grossi - Bass
AJ Morra - Drums & Percussions
Eric Ragno - Hammond, Wurly & Rhodes

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