Plymouth based singer songwriter Gozer Goodspeed has a busy 2021 ahead of him, following on from 2019’s critically acclaimed Running with the Outliers album, he’s recently signed to the Lights and Lines record label.
Rebuilt and Remade
Prior to his label debut, he’s recorded and released a 5 track EP, Rebuilt and Remade, which features new interpretations of older songs, plus a brand-new song, all available on his Bandcamp page.
Starting with a fantastic Blues version of Ear to the Ground (originally from his debut Rattlebone Colour EP) it showcases Gozer’s fantastic guitarwork and strips the song back to a bluesier piece of work, where his vocals shine through.
The nest three tracks are pared down acoustic versions of tracks from the superb Running with the Outliers albums, the fantastic Pumas and Neon Signs sounds fantastic in its new interpretation, losing nothing from the original, and showing how a great song works in different interpretations.
Meanwhile the acoustic version of Running with the Outliers, is fantastic, Gozers vocals are in fine form, whilst his driving acoustic picking really adds something to this stand out track from the album, and of course the sing along chorus is still as powerful and soulful here.
Whilst the beautiful February Almost Broke me is a perfect reinterpretation of one of the strongest songs on the album and performed here in a late-night smoky blues club version, really emphasises the lyrics and it’s dripping with feeling and emotion.
Finally, the brilliant Rebuilt and Remade is an example of the songwriting that Gozer is well known for, honest songwriting, powerful lyrics and great imagery within a cracking tune.
As a pause for reflection, and reinterpretation of some of his crowd pleasers, this is a spiritual heir to the MTV unplugged concept, showcasing his great songwriting and versatility and works as a perfect introduction to his work.
Ghosts of the Future and Past
Meanwhile his debut release on Lights & Lines is Ghosts of the Future and Past, released on July 30th is a 17-track collection compiled from his expansive self-released back catalogue.
Taking its title from Gamblers Last Day from the Running with the Outliers album, Gamblers Last Day aptly opens up the collection, setting out the compilations stall from the beginning, with its great riff, its strong blues rock influenced sound kicks things off in style.
Of course, the Running from the Outliers albums is well represented, with the title track, Pumas and Neon Signs and the epic and emotive King Point Marina, which is still one of the finest tracks he’s released so far, the way it grabs you and the sucker punch that both the lyrics and music give you, I raved about this track back in 2019, and time hasn’t changed my opinion of the power and beauty of this song.
Meanwhile you get the previously unreleased Charlatans and Hypnotists, which shows Gozer’s embryonic style and sound developing, with some sharp lyrics and fantastic guitar work.
There’s the title track from the Rattlebone Colour EP, which is another one of Gozers great blues influenced tracks.
Cherry picking from the EP’s and album released so far can sometimes be hard work, but this collection really does highlight every aspect of Gozers career and his versatility and panache as both a songwriter and performer, and tracks like When the Blueman met the headshrinker, show case his character based songwriting skills, and Survivor by habit is a storming rocker.
Including Rebuilt and Remade to bring the story up to date, there’s also a couple of surprises in this compilation, the live Killjoy Bulletin, a live favourite that’s not yet been recorded on album, so we get this storming live performance, which gives a great idea of what a Gozer live performance would be like.
Meanwhile we also get Now’s Not the Time to Lay Low, a sneak preview of the new album that’s coming next year, and on the basis of this track it’s going to be a corker.
This great compilation is rounded out by a remix of Gamblers Last day by producer Chris Love, which takes the original and reworks it subtly and cleverly to round out these 17 songs.
This is a perfect introduction to the work of Gozer Goodspeed, who is a unique talent, and this collection showcases every facet of his talents, really worth grabbing a copy to discover Gozers work yourself and prepare yourself for next years album, which I am really looking forward to.