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Gamma - 1980 Gamma 2

ALBUM: Gamma 2
LABEL: Elektra
SERIAL: 6E-288
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2002, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU 6288 * 2011 Rock Candy Records, CANDY113


LINEUP: Ronnie Montrose - guitars * Davey Pattison - vocals * Jim Alcivar - keyboards * Glenn Letsch - bass * Denny Carmassi - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Mean Streak * 02 Four Horsemen * 03 Dirty City * 04 Voyager * 05 Something In The Air * 06 Cat On A Leash * 07 Skin And Bone * 08 Mayday


Dont'cha just love the cover? The sharkfin in the backyard cutting through the garden hose zeroing in on the sunbathing lady.. Classic stuff. As is the band and the music. Ronnie Montrose and his merry men return for album #2 with Gamma. The year before they had struck a chord with their excellent debut album, garnering support among the press and fans for a set of tunes deemed to capture the best of melodic rock coupled with quirky modern aspects. This time around Ronnie has added some beef to the backline with former Montrose bandmate Denny Carmassi joining the fray, while Glenn Letsch takes over bass duties from the soon to become Nightranger man Alan Fitzgerald. It's true to suggest that 'Gamma 2' is slightly harder in sound than it's predecessor, but it doesn't lose anything in comparison.

The Songs
'Meanstreak' is the lead-off track, a straight forward affair that sees Ronnie hamming up some tortured guitar solos. The fast paced intro to 'Four Horsemen' is unlike anything they've done before. It doesn't last long though, and settles down into a synth/guitar workout. The synth bursts from Alcivar on 'Dirty City' are indeed dirty sounding, the whole thing trudging along effortlessly. Of course the best track by a country mile is the timeless 'Voyager', still a staple on classic rock radio today. The cover of Thunderclap Newman's 'Something In The Air' is a bit weak I reckon, though offset by the aggression on 'Cat On A Leash'. Those synths of Alcivar spiral off the map! 'Skin And Bone' slows up in tempo by comparison, but we finish up with the manic melodia of 'Mayday'.. full of six-string riffing from Ronnie, quirky keys and an insistent driving bass line laid down by Letsch. Of course, we can't forget the guy who helps hold it all together.. pocket rocket Davey Pattison, who sings up a storm.

In Summary
Gamma 3 appeared two years later, though the sound had become more keyboard oriented, especially with the addition of producer Mitchell Froom to the band. Montrose disbanded Gamma not long after, and went solo for a few years. Albums like 'Territory', 'Speed Of Sound' highlight his ever changing stance to making music, though he did release a rock oriented album called 'Mean' which featured one time King Kobra and Foreigner vocalist Johnny Edwards. Gamma was reformed in 2000, the resultant album 'Gamma 4' showing the band were just as tight as ever. Of recent interest is the official re-release of the album (as well as Gamma 1 and 3) during that latter part of 2002 through Wounded Bird Records, and with this release in particular, through Rock Candy Records during the latter part of 2011. Take the opportunity to grab them now on CD while you can.

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