Autumn was a brief affair here at the Sleeping Village, and now that rime coats our beards and the snow has unceremoniously de-robed the trees, we slumbering scribes are all set to slip into hibernation for the next five months or so.
But! To combat said lethargy before it truly sets in, I, in all my administration authority, bequeathed our archivist to trawl through our overstuffed mailcart for something worthy of our collective attention. When he emerged, Galaxy’s sci-fi inspired debut EP clutched in white-knuckled grasp, I was confident we had, at very least, an approximation of a winner. And so here we are, blasting Lost From the Start ‘till our lids droop. Feel free to join in the festivities.
Galaxy unabashedly throw down a hearty blend of primordial speed metal and chest-baring 80’s NWOBHM. Even if you haven’t heard this particular conglomeration, you know the component parts well: energetic twin-guitar riffage, built on a rock-solid foundation of combat-boot stomping rhythms and neck-wringing grooves. The most obvious comparison to source material is Phillip King’s Halfordian vox, which rips and shreds through the entirety with gusto...but more on that later.
Lost from The Start presents a formula built on the pre-existing love--both on the band and audience’s part--for hooky and energetic metal. Plain ‘n’ simple. That said, the instrumentation is pleasantly varied, from the spacious and light-footed “Traveler,” to the aggressive trashy crunch of “Sons of Titan,” to the aggressive chug underlying the psychedelic leanings of “Paradise Divide.” Hooky tunes are the name of the game, and these Aussies can write catchy choruses with the best of 'em. To my great excitement, Galaxy aren’t afraid to slow things down from time to time in the midst of thrashy goodness--take the back half of the title track as a prime example. The excellent production only allows these jammy passages a clarity and breathe seldom found along the speedier spectrum of trad metal. Despite nominally existing as a rehash of motifs and templates we’ve all been doused in, nothing here feels stale. Indeed, all four tracks proper carry themselves with a jubilant and rosy-faced energy--the product of a band that, while obviously honoring the greats, genuinely seems to be creating our mutual genre expectations in the first place. When listening to the “Traveler/Dreaming Out,” one-two punch, for example, which strongly recalls the impact of “The Hellion/Electric Eye,” my gut reaction is to acknowledge it as a clever homage, rather than a tired rehash of a tired trope.
Critically, the aforementioned vocals do feel inconsistent across the breadth. While standout track “Dreaming Out” evokes a Diamond-esque falsetto to great effect, “Paradise Divide” utilizes a weaker whiny warble. The forays into high notes work well in this genre if they feel grounded, but there are moments where things feel disconnected--take the end of the chorus on “Sons of Titan.” An odd moment in an otherwise stellar track. While to vocals do need work, however, I appreciate how intensely heartfelt their delivery is, and indeed wholeheartedly recommend Lost From The Start on that basis. From the falsettos on “Dreaming Out” and the title track, to the spaced-out operatic wails on “Paradise Divide,” Mr. King imbues his work with the kind of passion that never fails to make me grin. Lost From the Start is an EP born from a pure love for the music and for the genres that inspire it, and you'd better bet that fuckin’ counts for something. In an era of overly polished retro outfits, the little stumbles herein help to corrode the glossy sheen that is increasingly coating the rough ‘n’ tumble soul of heavy metal.
Otherwise, the fact remains that I’ve been listening to Galaxy for several weeks on a remarkably frequent basis. These 22 minutes keep finding a way to worm their way back in; a charming and--needless to say--appealing quality. As you too look for something hearty (and heartwarming) to combat the encroaching cold, I recommend you give Lost From The Start a spin or three.
Galaxy - Lost From The Start was released November 8th, 2019 from Dying Victims Productions
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that is heavy, gloomy...and loud enough to wake us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry!