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Metal, in its basic form, is a young man's business. The young, virile and beautiful men in their tight jeans, with their wildly flowing manes of hair and sweaty bodies reeking of testosterone, attacking the audience with a furious assault of raging metal, combined with the intimacy of a live gig in a small, dark club, can be an almost sexual experience. That raunchy characteristic found its strongest and most primitive manifestation in the metal of the 80s, beating the hell out of today's bi/asexual metalcore acts, and narrowly avoiding the sodomite excesses of glam. Thrash, the subgenre that followed, had a different character, and perhaps sacrificed the throbbing sexuality on the altar of beer-fueled violence, and the rest of the metal history ever since has been an unavoidable slide downwards on the sexual scale.
But worry not, you procreationally driven metal person! Gaywyre is here, with their true-to-its-roots 80s-styled metal, and it's definitely time to hide your daughters! These fellows have found the original, throbbing, exposed masculinity of their role models, and put it to good use. I shall not let the fruits of my loins out without a heavily armed chaperone if these guys are in town, lest the lewd armadillos in their pants get their wicked ways!
The cover art of the EP already shows what is on the merciless minds of the these metal males: a closet, its door bulging and bending in front of their forceful thrusts, is about to give way and release the furious speed metal onslaught, and the target audience is cowering in fear of what they know is unavoidable. No one in their right mind would ever wish such a scene in his own bedroom, but who ever said that metal fans were sane?!?
Gaywyre's music is 80s styled speed metal, pure in its speedy drive and honest in its manly meat mincing themes. The first track, "Party of Five", is something the great masters in tight spandex, Iron Maiden, would not be ashamed to claim as their own tune. The second song, "Fuck You Tonight", slams a huge meaty statement on the table, and perhaps says a few obvious things a tad too directly for comfort. "Operation Market Garden" digs out the heavy guns, retelling the story of the most daring enterprises of the whole WWII, a daring thrust to the Germans' rear, and the adrenaline-drenched mano a mano fighting in Arnhem and various other places in 1944. "Suspiria" pays homage to the great Dario Argento and his bloody films, and "Battleshark" ponders upon sharks, the great and vicious shuttles of meat mercilessly hunting for innocent flesh to devour in the great oceans of the world. The themes are metal, the music is mercilessly good and faithful to the original stylings. There are no hidden meanings, no allegories, just stories and statements to be taken at face values.
It must be said that the band, while perhaps unoriginal and traditional in the grandest sense, plows a fertile ground on Coming Out. The market for retro metal may be saturated for the time being, and there is a danger that their plowing turns to arduous uphill gardening, and that the towering obstacles in their way to commercial success prevent them from reaching their destiny, but since the retro scene is mostly focused on thrash, their different and unprejudiced approach may well turn to a satisfying fulfillment. These guys would be metal enough to turn an ABBA song into a metal masterpiece, no doubt about it, and their unshrouded honesty should be rewarded. The group is an oiled man-machine, from the first chord on the fretboard to the final testicle-tickling falsetto.
This EP is seriously good. Nothing groundbreaking, but on the other hand, nothing anachronistic; Coming Out is pure 80s worship in the best sense of 80s worship, and doesn't include any modern stylings. This little piece of art is worth your time and money, and a follow-up is something to look forward to.
The one thing that really bugs me about this band is something I'd blame on the New Zealand's elementary school system: the silly typo in the band's name. I mean, come on! "Gaywyre"? That makes the band sound like something totally different... maybe a frolickingly joyoys telegram full of good news, perhaps? A very happy electric cable? No, the correct way to spell the word is "guy-wire", and for those unfamiliar with construction technology, that means a wire that keeps a mast upright. Some of the mightiest structures man has ever managed to erect are supported by them, majestically remaining stiff in the face of elements due to their faithful support instead of folding into flaccid piles. A correction is in order, I say.
This is a mighty, manly piece of work. You go, boys! But where can they go after such a magnificient debut? Inzane!