Andy Gassaway

Hellfire

Indian Casino Records 2010

Seattle's Andy Gassaway has taken a garage rock approach to songwriting on his new album that is so dusty and weathered you'd think he was straight out of some tiny desert town.  The lumbering twang of the title-track is smashed by crashing drums and straining harmonica.  Andy's dry throat is so full of regret and feels like he has seen so many miles of road he might just collapse as the last notes escape his lips.  Old Spare Key is a go lucky and strained bout of alterna-rock, raucous strumming and a stomping beat.  Primrose Freeway brings to mind Tom Petty if he was more downtrodden at an earlier age.  A sadness permeates the main riff on Havana Loon and is accented by the mournful wail of a harmonica.  A more upbeat bounce hits on Nightmares as the volume and cacophony jump up and recalls ghosts of Nirvana but with a more country twang to it.  The resurrected spirit of Johnny Cash lives and breathes in Andy's frame on Come On Back.  Even Andy's voice grabs a deeper timbre.  The pleading sorrow of Just Won't Do is enough to crush you beneath the weight of longing and regret.  Andy Gassaway has composed an album of garage rock tinted by a country twang and echoes with the spirit of Tom Petty and Cash, though seen through an alternative rock filter.  Hellfire is a compilation of lovelorn tales, weather-beaten and worn by years of travelling and stained by the dried blood of a thousand broken hearts.