By Dusty Ray
Gorilla Horizontalness is an album bursting with crunchy, overextended jams that are either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preference. Dan Loiz’s guitar work is impressive, and he scales and wails with an ear for jam music almost to the point of repetitive rancor.
Loiz recorded the entirety of Gorilla Horizontalness at home, and the do-it-yourself quality of the drum machine and mixing at first seem detrimental, but later lend the album a certain personal charm. Loiz writes his music within the conventions of crunchers like Widespread Panic, Leftover Salmon, and The Grateful Dead with his own exclusive touch.
The album opens up with “Moonlight Sunshine”– a dizzying disco-esque run complete with a jazz piano solo and some technical hooks. Loiz croons heavily over the track, sounding like Bob Seger singing over a Yes song. It is a strong opening, but doesn’t stray far from the sounds of Loiz’s influences.
The title track to Gorilla Horizontalness reveals Loiz’s talent on the guitar, but again falls into the typical jam conventions heard later on in “Boricua” and “RubberJam.” The psychedelic imagery of the lyrics can become a strain on the listener: their clichés are so prominent that they almost become laughable, and leave the listener wondering if Loiz is only joking.
With this cut, Loiz covers a musical territory that has been bombarded and rehashed so many times that it is hard to find any new musical ideas amongst the album. That being said, he does put quite a bit of heart into his music, and his talent is obvious.