Listening to Here Is... is like a game of connect the dots. For their debut album, Washington State-based Gosling defy categorization by genre-hopping through rock's many permutations, especially indie, punk, surf, and grunge.
After opening with a beat-breaking track ripped from the Franz Ferdinand playbook, Gosling proceed to tour the constellation of rock. Tracks such as "Burnout" and "Worm Waltz" pay homage to Green Day, with lead singer/guitarist Dave Ingersoll ripping power chords in front of bassist Shane Middleton's goth picks. Midway through the album however, Gosling departs from their already schizophrenic template. "Stealing Stars," a feel-good acoustic guitar piece, dips into Jack Johnson territory and "Come into My Room" is a ballad uncomfortably wedged between Radiohead and Maroon 5.
What sticks out about this album is not just the variety of musical taste, but that somehow, in the end, it begins to fit together. It is difficult to tell where the band goes from here. What can certainly be said is that Here Is... is an ambitious, and ultimately successful album, for what it is. Most bands need direction. Gosling, so far, does not.
By Josh Kron.
August 22, 2006