Gone Cosmic – Send for a Warning, the Future’s Calling Review

One of the cruelest fates to befall any given record that comes across my desk at Angry Metal Guy Judgment Emporium is to be totally forgotten. It happens, more often than I’d like. Gone Cosmic’s last record, Sideways in Time, succumbed to such a fate. It was a good record, with tons of groove and fronted by a passionate, powerful vocalist. But it was only because I caught the Canadian quartet’s upcoming sophomore full-length, Send for a Warning, the Future’s Calling, in the promo bin three years later that I remembered that Gone Cosmic existed. Which raises the question: what will they do to ensure I remember them better this time?

If nothing else has changed, I can say that Gone Cosmic grows ever more confident as a unit. Vocalist Abbie Thurgood in particular is even more the versatile performer that she was on Sideways. Musically, their Pink Floyd psychedelia is still fueled by the vim and vigor of Dead Sara and similar acts, which is a winning combo any way you slice it. Groove and energetic riffcraft, especially in the hands of bassist Brett Whittingham, blends wonderfully with blissful swaths of chilled-out, spacefaring drifts, and the balance struck in that duality defines the band’s signature sound. The production quality takes a hit on album two—it received an extra dose of compression, one that I feel was entirely unwarranted as it robs the album of the same breathing room that delighted me last time—but Gone Cosmic’s increased emphasis on softer textures and effortless transitions generally makes up the gap in dynamics.

Highlights “Envy Thrives,” “The Wrong Side of Righteousness,” “Endless,” and “Taste for Tragic” showcase the band at their best, and in some ways surpass past high water marks. Everything else, however, falls short in one way or another. Opening duo “Crimson Hand” and “For Sabotage” constitute competent cuts, but lack memorable hooks or immersive atmospheres. “Causeway” creates a sense of false hope with a massive chorus, which tries in vain to make up for lackluster material on either side of it. Similarly, the lead and bass guitar lines on “To Refuse Compromise” hint at excellence but are unfortunately placed within a construction of recycled ideas. Perhaps the most conflicted experience comes from closer “The Future’s Calling,” which kicks off with the hookiest riff and receives generous support from pleasant, jazzy chillouts. Despite those redeeming qualities, repetitive vocal lines and an overdramatic monologue—a storytelling technique that I maintain nearly always proves unsuccessful—threaten to sully the sociopolitical messaging intended.

Those aforementioned highlights inherit none of the flaws endemic to the lowlights. “The Wrong Side of Righteousness” is perhaps my favorite of the group, as it’s the most energetic and playful song from a musical standpoint. There’s just something about Gone Cosmic’s approach there that evokes a novel Treasure Planet-meets-acid trip, and it works leagues better than I could’ve predicted. On the other side of the coin, “Endless” and “Taste for Tragic” offer brilliantly located spaces for deep, satisfying breaths of fresh nebula. In these songs, each one minimalist in its own way, atmosphere is queen and fuzz is ample. To complement that platform, Gone Cosmic opted for a lighter guitar tone with a subtle 90s garage rock flair, receiving further support from the softer side of Abbie’s vocal range. These songs show that this band possesses greater range than I once assumed, and it’s wonderful to hear that in these gentler endeavors Gone Cosmic still thrives.

Taking everything into consideration, Send for a Warning, the Future’s Calling left me with a mixed experience. While clear advancement in songwriting in the best tracks leads me to believe Gone Cosmic is on the right path, the execution of the album’s least compelling material gives me some pause. This could simply be a sophomore slump, an all-too-common occurrence we see with young bands’ trajectory towards success. Nevertheless, I fear that Send for a Warning, the Future’s Calling portends a future where I once again forget about Gone Cosmic until another new promo lands unexpectedly on my desk.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 5 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Grand Hand Records
Websites: facebook.com/gonecosmic | gonecosmic.bandcamp.com
Releases Worldwide: September 2nd, 2022

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