Gosling Here Is…

Formerly performing under the name Loudermilk — a hard rock/nu-metal act that attained middling success with 2002’s The Red Record and a few opening spots for Mötley Crüe and Megadeth — lead-man Davey Ingersoll and company are back with a new name and a vastly improved sound that eschews the ’80s rock kitsch for a more classic rock sensibility. The Washington group’s full-length debut, Here Is… includes re-releases most of the tracks off their 2004 self-titled EP, and it’s a little disappointing that these are still the best songs they’ve got. The disc leads off with in an ill-advised 40-second intro consisting of watery guitar hits and bass ostinatos that is neither interesting nor mood-setting before giving way to the album’s first standout, "Mr. Skeleton Wings,” a sneering rejection of fame (too soon?) that overcomes its subject matter with a morbidly jaunty bass rhythm and blistering psych rock electric piano. Like so many rock bands these days, Gosling’s sound is steeped in classic rock sensibility, and the track list competently tips its hat to the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen with mixed results. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, though, comes the thoroughly awesome stomp-rocker "Glass Is Empty,” which snaps you back to attention with its rollicking, progressive Soundgarden riff and piercing shrieks. It’s such an infectious, simple, face-scrunching rock song that you’ll wonder why the whole album couldn’t be more like it. (V2)