Musician: Gideon’s Army
Album: King of the League
Coming hot at you from New York, southern-infused rock collective, Gideon’s Army, released their third full length album this past May. Recorded with Anthony “Rocky” Gallo (Bon Jovi, John Legend, Nora Jones) at Virtue and Vice recording studio in Brooklyn, southern-rock enthusiasts can expect some epic vocals, guitar solos, sultry piano, and steady beats on King of the League.
Created in 2014, Gideon’s Army is the creation of frontman and singer, songwriter, and guitarist Robert Bray. It seems that music has always been a part of Robert’s life and his “first musical experience ? [was] playing the violin for the Stillman elementary school orchestra and town-select Super Orchestra” (http://www.gideonsarmymusic.com/bio/). Influenced by musicians such as Bruce Springsteen, Stone Temple Pilots, Rolling Stones, Kings of Leon and Pearl Jam, Robert began songwriting and guitar playing with a intense passion while “working in film and in NYC’s downtown theatre scene” (ibid). After finding his calling in music, in “October 2014 [Robert] released his first full-length album entitled Burn for the Living (emphasis added), written entirely, music and lyrics, by Robert Bray, and recorded entirely in Woodmere, NY with producer Steven Wise” (ibid).
There are many country elements heard in the music on King of the League. However, if you are not a fan of country music, don’t be dissuaded by the seemingly country trills. Elements of rock, R&B, folk, and soul are also very predominant, creating music that is complex and interesting. Also, for fans of Pearl Jam’s distinct vocals, Robert’s singing comes close sometimes to that band’s sound, with his long held notes and slightly monotonic vocals. This influence can be best heard in the track “Red Lips”.
Robert’s guitar playing is unique and ingenious. In the song “Desperate Hearts” the guitar sound is, at times, inspired by the rock of the late 90s and early millennium. But then there is also a classic rock and roll and country feel to the guitar tones. The result is a song that is robust, touching, and wholesome, feeling like it is somehow filling an inner void that you didn’t know was there in the first place.
For fans of blues-heavy country and rock, “Coney Island Cats” is a fun blending of multiple musical genres. Die hard country fans are sure to love “Don’t Mind” with its trilling guitar riffs, upbeat piano, and danceable beat.
All in all, music lovers of all kinds need to check out King of the League. Whatever your musical tastes, Robert has brilliantly explored a wide variety of sounds on his third album. And for students, Robert’s music is great to listen to while studying, reading, relaxing, and partying with friends. However, volume levels may need to be adjusted accordingly.
Samantha currently uses her skills as a writer to promote independent musicians and raise awareness and support for many global, environmental, and humanitarian issues. Check out her website and blog at: http://sstevenswriter.wix.com/writer