By: Eric G.
Jazz/rock fusion is almost always a genre you want to stay far away from because it invariably ends up being really cheesy. The Gilroys are a five-piece ensemble comprised of guitar, bass, drums, piano, saxophone, and the occasional cello. The band incorporate aspects of prog rock and funk into their fusion, making it even more suspect, but they manage to pull off some pretty tricky arrangements. Sean Hoots’ vocals sound like an old female jazz singer from the thirties. I was, in fact astounded when I realized it was a man singing. Sometimes the harmonies border on the tacky side of things, though, especially on “Bottom Heavy”, but the expert playing takes your mind off such missteps, if only for a short while.
I must hand it to The Gilroys for being so brazen. It’s not often a band can whore out so many styles and sew it together so tightly. Some of the melodies and tonal atmospherics are quite impressive, but it’s so hard to swallow some of these guitar solos. The vocal lines leave me uneasy- not because they are bad but because they seem out of place (the singing itself is actually quite good). I think I would prefer it if this were an instrumental album, except for the fact that instrumental rock is one of the most pompous and cock rocking genres imaginable. Maybe the best bet for The Gilroys would be to stick to jazz because that seems to be what they can play best.