TRACK REVIEW: Gelato - Breaking the Spell





PHOTO CREDIT: @movementartliam  

Breaking the Spell





Breaking the Spell is available via:


 Rock; Alternative


London, U.K.


9th January, 2017


The E.P., Weird, is available via:


THIS outing marks a bit of a departure…


but it is going to have some consistency. I shall come to talk about the guys of Gelato but, before I move on, some recommendations for the guys. They, as I will address, a modern band that will inspire so many other artists. I want to talk about Rock and the way it is coming back; those artists who have the potential to move beyond London; how important gigging is – and the bands taking advantage of it – how certain modern acts are inspiring the new breed; where Gelato could head in 2018; the way they, like their finest peers, develop between releases; the future of music and the artists that can ensure years from now. Like yesterday’s review – where I was given some explanation as to the brevity of images – I will take the same task up with Gelato. The guys are not the least attractive boys you will see, so it would be nice to see their face out there more. I will drop my endless campaign for visual representation but, once more, it is a subject that almost saw my look elsewhere for reviews. I will not labour the issue too much but it is paramount we disimpact the problem surrounding shyness and rarity. Yesterday, when it came to my review, the reason there were so few current photos was because the label/artists wanted to bring more photos out upon the release of the new E.P. It got me thinking about modern music and how the listener is spoon-fed information. Listeners and fans browse social media and will be looking for artists to follow. For me; I am seeking reviews and will only consider artists that have a collection of modern and older images. It seems baffling music/releases have become such a campaign and meticulous plan. I know the guys of Gelato are not like that: they are less precise and prefer to release their music with less rigidity. They do not have that stringent – and rather egregious – approach to images and exposure.


I will touch more on this issue but, before then, an urging to the boys to spend some cash next year getting some more snaps up there. At the moment, they have a few shots but there are not that many high-quality snaps that one can discover. The reason I said this review was a departure is for two reasons: for one, the music I am reviewing has been out for quite a few months; the second relates the exception I am making for the band. I am, going forward, not reviewing artists I have assessed before – this is the second time I have featured Gelato – and, when it comes to photos; I am being a lot more stringent and hard. The band has a great look and sense of confidence so I would like to see an array of images for the guys next year. It is not a criticism but a way they can get their music to new markets. The guys have had a busy year and there are some great live shots on their pages. I am confident they will have a triumphant year. One of the ways they can get their music/name to international audiences is getting more photos shot. It will be more appealing to journalists and shows they are keen to get themselves promoted and visible. Maybe their endless touring and hard graft has meant there is little time to get in front of the camera and get themselves shot – let’s hope they set aside time to release new images in the New Year. I will move on to all the positives soon but, right now, I want to talk about release schedules, Actually, when looking at Gelato, they are the antithesis of the calculated and marketed artists who have their music released at exact moments – to make the biggest impact. I have alluded to artists – who have come my way – where I am asked to release reviews on precise days (and interviews); there are a few images for each campaign; new images not released until the next release/campaign. 


I am worried there is too much business and marketing in modern music. I understand the need to get the music out there and make sure it hits hard. If every stage and avenue is slowly fed and planned precisely; it means music is too serious and lacks the naturalness one desires. I love musicians – like the artist I featured yesterday – but was annoyed there were only a few photos; the only way new ones were coming would be with a new release. One of the amusing things about this review is the fact the E.P., Weird, is nearly a year old. I can’t remember when the guys approached me to review their new music – it must be a few months ago now. What I admire is they are not with a label/agency that is too concerned when the music is reviewed. There are no strict deadlines and, as you can tell from the dates/review; the music I am featuring has been out there for a while. It would seem rather if a proper-good Rock band were that business-minded and organised. I love the loose approach of Gelato and wonder, as I review their latest material, what they are planning now. The guys have a fantastic sound but I am curious – before I come to my next point – how they can get more fans. Their Twitter numbers are not too bad but, to me, they warrant a lot more attention. Maybe getting involved with Spotify playlists and hooking up with other artists there – making playlists with other bands who will, in turn, reciprocate the gesture. Maybe contacting venues and radio stations and getting their music played. The band have been busy performing and getting their music to the people. Another aim for 2018 will be getting those social media numbers up and putting the feelers out. Gelato have a terrific sound and, like like-minded Londoners such as Duke of Wolves, they are creating music that is pushing Rock forward.


I would like the guys to hit a four-figured Twitter following next year; get more bodies into their Facebook; get their music heard on stations like BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6 Music. Maybe they have been featured here before but, as they aim and dream of 2018, those would be realistic goals. If they combine all of this – and get some more photos up – they will mark themselves as a force to be reckoned with. I shall return to some more backseat-management in the conclusion but the reason I do is because I know how good the band is – I would not bother hectoring an artist if I felt they were unworthy of that energy. I have been a little harsh and cold on Rock this year. The mainstream is the platform for bands/artists and, if the ‘best-of-the-best’ is not up to scratch; that enforces your opinions on everything else. I know there are some stunning bands like IDLES emerging: one of the best bands in the country who are melting Punk and Rock together into something unique and fascinating. The mainstream Rock scene has been a bit patchy this year. On the one hand; there have been fantastic releases from Queens of the Stone Age (Villains) and IDLES (Brutalism). I consider those albums the strongest Rock/Alternative offerings from this year. There has been some much-hyped and potentially promising L.P.s from Foo Fighters, Royal Blood and The Amazons. The latter is a newer band who were tipped for big things – before they unveiled their eponymous debut. Royal Blood took an eternity following up their self-titled debut – the resultant How Did We Get So Dark? impressed some but, for me, failed to move on from their debut; it provided fewer gems and left me feeling aggrieved. The same could be said of Foo Fighters who have endured through the decades but are long past their best. I am seeing some better artists in the underground.


I have mentioned IDLES – lest I compare them to Jesus – but they have resurrected a faith in me. I know there are fantastic newer Rock/Indie bands like Duke of Wolves, REWS and IDLES. The first two are less-heard-of and are making big strides right now. Even if the most-spotlighted and promising Rock bands in the underground are from London: there are plenty further north who will make a big step in 2018 (maybe the media will be slower getting up that way and giving them their dues). Gelato remind me, in a way, of Queens of the Stone Age and Muse. They have the grumble, desert crawl and concrete of Queens’; they have epic strings and the bombast of Muse – perhaps a little more concentrated and concise than Matt Bellamy’s outfit. Weird is an E.P. that moves on from Gelato’s previous material and adds new threads. They have not abandoned their hallmarks and core but have stepped out of the shadow of Queens of the Stone Age and creating more of an identity. I am determined to get Rock put into the forefront next year. I feel there are too many who assume the genre is dead and past its best days. Some of the mainstream examples have not helped this point: the need to get the best of the underground into the fray is essential. Other genres are taking glory so it seems essential Rock is provided oxygen and proper respect. Gelato are one of those bands who is taking steps in the capital and getting their faces out there. They have recently played with Duke of Wolves and getting a lot of buzz from crowds. I feel, when the guys release more material, they will get a lot of demand from other parts of the nation. It is great their new tracks are making impressions in London: making sure they aim for other parts of the U.K. is paramount. I know they will do this because their exciting and electric performances are thrilling London’s eager fans. I feel Gelato are a band who would love to do some international touring and take their music to nations such as the U.S. and Australia. I feel the former is a nation they can succeed in.


I am excited seeing how the guys have moved on. Since their E.P., Daydream, they have incorporated new aspects and become more confident. I can tell the boys have gained a lot of experience from the stage and picked up assets and aspects from other acts. Their music is broader and ventures into fresh territory. It is vital artists get on the road and do not spend too much time on social media. Maybe Gelato need to spend a little time on social media and getting more bodies in but they are having a ball on the road right now. Their live act is exhilarating so it is no surprise they want to keep that going. What amazes me is how the guys are able to keep the energy high but learn from every performance. They do not repeat themselves and, when it comes to lyrics/sound, each E.P. is a fresh revelation. I think the reason their latest E.P. is so strong is because they put the hours in and learn from the stage. They gauge reaction to their previous material and, when the crowd reacts, they are getting ideas and guidelines for future material. I feel too many acts repeat themselves and think the public want the same thing all the time. That is a problem that has blighted bands like Royal Blood and The Amazons – too incredible live acts who have not provided too much variety and depth in their studio material. Royal Blood are one of the best live acts out there but there is something lacking on their albums. Gelato manage to create a strong live show but give a different experience on an E.P. This will inspire new artists and give them guidance. If some of Rock’s ‘best’ have created a bit of a damp smell: there is a lot more hope with the approaching breed. Gelato are among the foundations of new Rock/Alternative that have proper talent and longevity. There is more colour and interest when you hear Gelato – music that gets into all parts of the body.


I am worried the hyped mainstream is not the best examples of the genre. By that; I mean there are too many false idols and acts that are not worth their weight in gold. If we want genres like Rock to survive and inspire; we have to spend more time heightening and discovering the true originators in the underground. Many feel IDLES were overlooked this year and did not get the nods they deserved. I feel the Bristol band will have a lot to say in 2018 and, let’s hope, they are provided adequate reward and kudos. Gelato are another band who will compel and intrigue the bands just starting out. Many bands are picking up their instruments and looking for guidance and ideas. If they are following the mainstream and acts that have created so-so albums; that will mean their career is going to be quite a struggle – unable to craft their own path and produce anything genuinely new. Let’s get out of the mindset that the commercial and mainstream are the way forward. I think the hungry and hard-working newcomers provided greater explosion and potential. I have noted how the band has progressed between E.P.s. I have been following them since 2015 and can see the evolution unfold. It would be primed for a David Attenborough voiceover: a band who have swam through the undergrowth and walked into new lands. Weird is a different beast to anything the London band has done before. I would worry if Gelato repeated themselves on their latest release – that would be a bad approach and mean their popularity would stagnate. At the moment; the guys are picking up fresh ears and getting under the radar. Next year will be a big one for them and I would not be surprised if another E.P. were to arrive. Maybe they are ready for an album because, with every year, they grow in stature and ability. They have conquered the stage and seem determined to hit arenas and big festivals in years to come. That is a possibility and something they should prepare themselves for.


I shall move onto a cut from their latest E.P. but, before then, the way bands like Gelato can progress and sustain. I know they take a very serious approach to live performance and are gaining invaluable life-skills from the stage. I shall allude to photos and social media in the conclusion but I recommend the boys broaden their horizons and take some ideas from other artists. By that, I mean there are inventive ways they can market and promote future music. Cassettes are, oddly, coming back in and many acts are releasing music this way. If they were to think of a single after Christmas – it would be nearly a year since fresh material – they could consider ways to separate themselves from the crowd. Maybe a new way of recording on vinyl; an oldskool cassette release or an original marketing campaign. It would be good to see them continue to play in the capital but get themselves up the country – combining conventional venues with some slightly less obvious stages. Perhaps they could combine with other artists and get a female voice on one song. I know their budget is tight so they could not do anything too ambitious. There are inventive and original ways they can get their music out there. Like Queens of the Stone Age – a band they take guidance from – they could bring new instruments and sounds into the fold. The music Gelato are putting out is fantastic but, in order to get to the top of the game quicker, they need to consider some fresh elements and movements. I keep saying next year will be a big one – it really will be. Too many bands keep the same sound and do not change things up. The industry is cruel and will afford little love to those who do not provide change and promise. I shall move onto a fantastic song but some things for the Gelato guys to ponder, perhaps.


In past days; Gelato would have gone straight into the song with teeth and menace. Here, on Breaking the Spell, there is some irony. They have rebelled and moved fromtheir past instincts and provided greater calm build on this track. The strings lightly twang and hover in the atmosphere. It has a shadow quality and a sense of romance, actually. The listener is hooked and interested by the graceful and teasing sound. It brings you in and makes you wonder whether there is an animal lurking in the shadows. Parping, coughing strings have a bit of fuzz and grumble. It is a perfect pairing with the delicate and straight aspect that introduced the song. The curiosity rises and the percussion joins the fray. Our hero is being turned upside-down and around; he is on a rollercoaster and trying to fight against oppression. One of the issues I have found with Gelato’s recording is the vocal clarity. A lot of times, the words are either buried under the composition or a little drawled. The reason I am reviewing the band is because all the layers and effect come together brilliantly. The lyrics do get a bit distorted but one can extrapolate from context. The band are one of the tightest around so it is no surprising discovering an exceptional composition and gale-force blast. The percussion is sturdy and commanding whilst guitar/bass riffing gives the track some studs and heels. It is a swaggering and chest-out song that will make the body move and get the crowds uniting. The hero switches vocals between Josh Homme-like low notes and some pure falsetto. It is a shift and contrast that gives the song restlessness and energy. Illusions and confusions swim in the mind; there is the need to break away from a life that is causing stress and tangle.


One picks out certain words and phrases but it is the delivery and intensity coming from the front that gets under the skin. The vocal has more in common with U.S. artists than local sounds. Maybe one detects bits of Dave Grohl and Josh Homme but there is a great sense of personality from the vocal. It contains plenty of heart and fortitude; there is the need to find peace and change; some anger and snarl coming from the tongue. The teeth are out but, rather than go on the attacks; our man is making sense of things. Maybe the inspiration comes from relationships and domestic strife. I wonder whether there is a romance breaking down – or the band is addressing something broader and more universal. Few can escape and evade the funk and sass of the song. The chorus is one of the finest the band have created in their career. They have always been fine crafters of the chorus, but here, they have formulated something hypnotic but restrained. There is more composure and reflection. Rather than go for the gut and attack constantly: we get textured strings and brooding contemplation. Secrets are coming out and events have reached breaking-point. However you interpret the song; it will get into the head and compel interpretation. I was imagining the hero struggling with a relationship but trying to make his way in the world. Maybe he has his own way and dreams; society is not letting him fulfil and do things his own way. There is a lo-fi charm to the song that means its raw and granite voice remains intact. It sounds like the song is coming from the stage: too many modern Rock bands give their songs so much polish. By the end of Breaking the Spell; you go back and dig deeper into the song. Even though the words get lost in places; it is a fantastic offering from a band always growing and changing. Their E.P., Weird, is a move forward and departure from their previous work. Not as hook-driven and intense as their previous work: here, there is more maturity and complexity working away.


It is another solid and fiery release from the Gelato crew. I have been following them since the beginning and impressed at how far they have come. A band that is not beholden to trends and the lure of commercialism. They are doing things their own way and, in doing so, inspiring other artists. Weird is a three-track E.P. I recommend you all get involved with. The guys have been playing in the capital recently and will be winding-down for Christmas. I know this year has been very busy for them but they must have plans for 2018. I know they will think of new material and I think they should up their game. That is not a commentary on their quality but it regards their social media and touring aims. They can get some more images shot and think about getting out to new audiences. I think international touring would be a possibility. Maybe getting their music to big radio stations and putting some thought into a marketing strategy. I have said how I dislike the business and over-engineered aspect of new music. Artists who release material and do it in stages are the ones I will rarely get behind. Coordinating photos and promotion is something that music can do without. There is something refreshing and compelling about Gelato. I have come to their new music rather late – their ‘new E.P.’ is quite old, now – but I admire the fact the gang are not too stressed about having reviews released at the moment of release – happy for journalists to approach their music a bit further down the line. I hope this aspect of them continues undented but there is much territory for the guys to claim next year. They have bags of talent and are one of the best new live acts in London. They are proving their worth at the moment and have the promise to get to the mainstream very soon.


PHOTO CREDIT: @movementartliam

I hope they manage to put some new material out next year and keep the momentum hot. There are so many Rocks acts who do not change their sound and copy what is already out there. There are some familiar strands when you hear Gelato but, riding over all of it, is a unique group who are not willing to fit too easily into the conventional. There is an oddity and a strangeness that appeals the darker side of the psyche. Their riffs are meaty and the percussion slams; the strings twang and spike; the vocals have real grit and depth. I am compelled the follow the band and, whilst I will not be reviewing them again, I will ensure I keep my ears trained and eager. As we move into the next year; many will wonder whether Rock can produce the good and get into the head. This year has not been a great one for mainstream Rock. The best results have been from the underground and the newer artists. I hope the balance swings and more attention is provided to the best young hopefuls. I mentioned how IDLES were overlooked a lot: maybe that will all shift in 2018?! What I do hope is people realise there is a lot more appeal and potential in Rock/Alternative than you’d imagine. There is colour and excitement; something different and appealing – plenty to recommend, for sure. I shall wrap this up but have found myself coming back to Gelato and their E.P., Weird. It is a fantastic offering from a young act that want to remain on the scene for a very long time. If they keep releasing songs like Breaking the Spell; they have the potential to do that…


WITH ease.


Follow Gelato