Album Review: Gemini Syndrome shows promise on debut

By John Parks

Note: Gemini Symdrome will appear in Cherry Valley at Take 20, 438 U.S. 20, Aug. 8.

West Coast rockers Gemini Syndrome have to be acknowledged for both the obvious hooks and genre-bending elements exhibited here on their debut album, LUX. I say that because I think those are the truly great characteristics the band brings to the table here, displayed on an obvious fist-in-the-air anthem like their radio hit “Stardust” or a heavier sleeper track like “Falling Apart.”

Gemini Syndrome is obviously going to have tons of appeal for the younger metal/alternative crowds. They have the entire package sewn tight here for just that purpose.

What’s surprising is how their riff-heavy songs and melodic vocals somehow transcend the pack of all the young dudes and sound pretty damn good to older, classic rock or hard rock fans as well. In other words — kids, don’t be surprised if Mom or Dad snags your copy of LUX for their morning commute in the Tahoe.

Some bands would view such a comment as the kiss of death for their “street cred,” but I’m pretty sure the Gemini Syndrome guys and the Warner Brothers suits both could sense the level of appeal presented here. The production is never lacking in dynamics, never muddled or brickwalled, and the performances feel fluid, as if the band is very comfortable with the material but never to the point of exhaustion or boredom.

The guys earn some points from me for their lyrics as well, which seem to be something of a lost or forgotten art. As with the aforementioned “Stardust,” the songs “Ressurrection” and “Mourning Star” are all memorable enough to draw your attention and ambiguous enough to keep you guessing.

Keep in mind just how difficult it is for a band in 2014 to do anything at all that separates them from the pack, and you will begin to appreciate just what Gemini Syndrome achieves here with their debut platter. Very promising, not just for the band and fans, but for the music biz in general.

From the July 16-22, 2014, issue

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