To understand The Gabriel Construct, you must first absorb its intent. Rock solo artist Gabriel Lucas Riccio calls his latest album Interior City a “dark and atmospheric concept album” locked in on the reality that we simply don’t respect ourselves anymore.
With Interior City, Riccio seeks to show us how to regain our self respect and enlighten us on how our “actions and lifestyle affect others.” Riccio is on a musical walkabout to manifest humanness. If you know this about the record, then it becomes a little more easy to take it all in. Although at times, I’m transported to my bedroom with an honest-to-god waterbed and black light poster of a stallion with tracks such as “Fear of Humanity,” the record is deep as you can get but in a kind of early Cream kind of way.
You have to be in a good head space, though. I like introspection in my art and music for sure but even as I agree with many of Riccio’s ideas, I must be careful not to go to the extreme with the sky is falling stuff. Because the sky is falling, ya’ll.
Bell ringers in the form of Riccio are especially essential right now. With lyrics such as from “Retreat Underground”:
RUN – It’s time to leave this place behind
RUN – It isn’t safe on ground or sky
RUN – There’s nothing left for me out here
RUN – I need a safe place, free from fear
HEY, YOU – STOP! They will not let me run away
STOP! They give me no choice but to stay
STOP! I’ll go where I cannot be found
STOP! It’s time to retreat underground
The tune is a lofty panic, a tightly-produced melody with hard-striking chords.
Doom sounds beautiful.
The lyrics of “My Alien Father” are no less reassuring:
They left us
But return to visit
Abductions happen at night
Will they return us alive?
They made us
Just to mine their gold
Now they hide
Shapeshifters control us
It’s like that scene in Signs where Rory Culkin is reading from a book whose author was probably written off as a kook but turns out to be dead right about the alien invasion. I’m wearing my aluminum hat right now as I sip chai and listen to Interior City.
At times, I’m getting a vibe like if Yes were into a kind of psycho doomsday conspiracy theory… Or a theater of the mind where everyone is bestfriends with Soundgarden. Strangely compelling stuff.
Interior City starts off intensely dark with the instrumental “Arrival In a Distant Land” and doesn’t really let up. “Defense Highway” showcases the many gifted artists assembling for the record. Jazz and rock ribbon throughout the track. The lyrics throughout the album are worth a read when you go to the Bandcamp site to download.
The drumming on “Inner Sanctum” is superb. “Languishing in Lower Chakras” is electric and terrifying in its disturbed sooth of noise and field recordings. One of my favorite tracks. Something is either being hatched or is watching.
But it’s with “Curing Somatization” that you truly get a sense of just how out there Riccio and his band of merry social distortion makers are. A clash of noise, jazz, rock anthemy chords, voices beseeching. Somatization is a tendency to experience and communicate psychological distress in the form of somatic symptoms and to seek medical help for them according to Wikipedia.
A call to action, a cry for help, a harbinger of doom…all three roads lead to this Interior City.
Interior City track listing:
- Arrival In a Distant Land
- Ranting Prophet
- Fear of Humanity
- My Alien Father
- Retreat Underground
- Subway Dwellers
- Defense Highway
- Inner Sanctum
- Languishing in Lower Chakras
- Curing somatization
The Gabriel Construct for Interior City is performed by:
Gabriel Lucas Riccio – Vocals, Keyboards, Programming, Rain Stick, Wood Block
Travis Orbin (travisorbin.com) – Drums, Additional Screams on 10
Thomas Murphy – Bass
David Stivelman – Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Sophia Uddin – Violin
Soren Larson – Saxophone
Garrett Davis – Additional Laughs on 7
Drums by Travis Orbin (Darkest Hour, ex-Periphery, Of Legends, Sky Eats
Bass by Tom Murphy (ex-Periphery)
Recorded/engineered by Garrett Davis (Train, Shinedown, Miley Cyrus, The
Devil Wears Prada)
Mixed & mastered by Taylor Larson (Periphery, Life on Repeat, Conditions, Of
Legends, Sky Eats Airplane)
Produced by Gabriel Riccio
1-8, 10 engineered by Garrett Davis at West Main Recording, Salisbury, MD,
with assistance from Joseph Hill, January-August 2012 except piano tracked
by Garrett Davis at Gull Works Studios, Salisbury, MD, January 9-13, 2012
9 recorded and mixed by Gabriel Riccio in Eden, MD
Mixed and mastered by Taylor Larson and Gabriel Riccio at Oceanic
Recording, Bethesda, MD, with assistance from Will Donnelly,
September-October 2012 & January 2013
If you’re interested in watching some of the tracking for the project, tune in here.