A couple weekends ago, I went and saw Springfield-based Gaiah perform at Maximum Capacity to support their recent release, Perfect Disaster. The performance was far from a disaster. I mean, these guys have been around the Valley music scene for some time. They are far from new to this.
Do you remember nights at the Fat Cat Bar & Grill in Springfield in the early 2000s? To relive that era in my distant memories always leaves me wanting a time machine. This band definitely stands out in some of those memories from then, and it’s good to see the musical staples still stitched together in the Valley music scene. Shawn Santanello’s strong yet soothing vocals, the complementary string-fondlers — bassist Anthony Danos and guitarist Jon Zanetti — and the driving of drummer Matt 9 Raymond make up your classic modern rock band.
The album kicks off with the melodic “Torcher,” which immediately gets my leg moving (I’m more of a leg bouncer than a head banger). The title track gets a little more gritty. I can picture this song being a hit on a modern rock station. Guitar solos thrown in with some distant heavy bass lines perkmy interest. Then “Shine” comes in, and I know once I hear this a few more times, I’ll be singing along to it during my long car commutes. Without hearing the rest, I’ve already pegged this as my favorite.
Okay, so I lied. “Stay Gone” starts off with some heavier spikes and a nice long gut-wrenching scream that lingers in the air. Holding my attention immediately, it’s the heaviest track on the album. “Keep It Alive” is another track that stands out. The lyrics are depressingly beautiful and go along with the music perfectly. “The shimmer of the kiss/ Was venom on your lips/ The glimmer in your eye / Should’ve known we’d come to the edge/ Have we been given a warning?/ It’s suicide, the way we’re goin’.”
“Fifteen” calms it down a bit. It’s a slower, more delicate song right in the middle of the album — like an intermission. I dig the drums the most in “Choose the Fall.” It sounds to me like there’s a Phil Collins-esque thing going on there. Could be wrong, but that iconic close-up shot of Collins from that video (you know that video) kept popping in my head with this song for some reason.
The 13-track album maintains a steady rock flow throughout, keeping me interested. The final track, “Good Things,” starts off as another slower melodic soft rock tune. It follows through to the ending, then slowly fades off into the distance for a perfect departure.•