Southern Train Gypsy
(Hallelujah in the Fire)
Clutch, Mudweiser, Crowbar
When the vocals are this pronounced it is difficult to get away with poor lyrics. Lyrics that really cause you to pause and scratch your head... "did he just say that?" Southern Train Gypsy's debut album is, believe it or not, a concept album that entails songs revolving around 'the gunslinger' being chased by the 'the man in black' who we interpret to be Satan.
We appreciate the efforts of putting together ten songs that revolve around one story with themes of vengeance and good vs. evil. They even get a little political on us preaching the pro-gun movement. Unfortunately the lyrics become progressively worse and never scratch below the basic surface. Its almost as if Southern Train Gypsy gets lazy and tired after the first few tracks and should have stuck with an EP. They start throwing in blurbs revolving around the characterless 'man in black' to fill time and get through a full-length.
Southern Train Gypsy has some strong elements such as solid grinding and rhythmic guitar-work. Lead singer Matt Laslie has a charismatic vocal style. Scratchy brooding from the gut vocals much akin to Kirk Windstein of Crowbar along with some militant marching order chants ala Clutch. But that is about it as far as the positives go. The pronounced weak lyrics invade and erode the listeners experience. The story becomes tiring and incoherent as well. Here is a little flurry of whats in store:
"We are the wolves you blundering fools" "all you have to do is bow to the alter of the wolves"
"I got my guns when I was a boy" "It is the only way, come on!"
"I am the man in black, this is how it is going down"
"Whose coming with me" "when you see me coming its already too late" "black death, black plague, black holes"
"Will move like fire through the city streets, we won't back down when the beast awaits, we'll take its head off for the whole world to see... yeah will take his head, take it!"
"I am coming through the tower gates, through the fields of reality" my boots are worn and I am so tired"
While we are fans of this style of music, call it more specifically the southern rock aggro metal scene or an offshoot of stoner rock, this album is raped by the poor lyrics. If your looking for a concept album with strong blues influenced heavy rock, take a gander at our review for Cable. We also strongly recommend you venture to another "train" band and check-out our review of The Midnight Ghost Train, you will be better served. - 9/9/2014
Standout Tracks: Hallelujah in the Fire