Ryan Gonzo, of San Diego’s Tribal Seeds, has debuted his second single since his breakout solo album Red in 2014. Following Gonzo’s “Talk About It” single late last year comes “Rock”: a soulful tribute to the ‘romanticizing phase’ of budding relationships. Once again recorded in Imperial Sound Recording Studio and produced by fellow Tribal Seeds-man E.N Young, “Rock” was released this week on all major digital outlets off Roots Musician Records for fans to enjoy.
Gonzo proffers music as a solution to a restless mind
What sets this single apart from other Gonzo tracks is the contrast of smooth, melodic sounds versus the buildup of angst embedded within the lyrics. Although the singer is ultimately enamored by a novel romance, Gonzo insists that he’s trying to shake off these feelings – “I’ve been thinkin’ bout you, drinkin’ bout you, tryin’ to get you off of my mind”. In this sense, it almost seems as if Gonzo wishes to rather not deal with the blossoming love affair at all. But then, the alto sax solo comes in. Posited in the bridge, following the last echoing remnants of the second chorus, is the smoothest sax solo you’ll ever hear – talk about conflicting themes! Gonzo continues to croon on about love in all its confusing, convoluted glory and delivers on a song that fully encapsulates the doubting emotions of real life relationships. Gonzo proffers music as a solution to a restless mind in the lyrics “your lovin’s got me lost, lost inside the drum and the bass”. Most reggae artists are good at setting a soothing mood, which directly applies to any stage of the dating game. Even though he clearly expresses that love never comes a la carte without a side of mind games, Gonzo illuminates that it’s all worth the indecision when you’ve finally found someone to “stop, drop” and rock with.
Gonzo just wrapped up his Tribal Seeds winter tour alongside The Steppas and The Skints, and will now be joining a stacked line-up of Cali reggae legends for the One Love Cali Reggae Festival at The Observatory Theater in Santa Ana on Saturday, February 13th. And for all you lovers of reggae and romance in northern San Diego County, catch a super intimate Gonzo solo performance with Iya Terra this Valentine’s Day at Rookie’s Sports Bar in Oceanside, California. Gonzo has yet to announce if he will take part in a spring Tribal Seeds tour or opt to do his own solo thing before summertime, but Tribal Seeds has officially signed onto several festivals so far this year including Reggae Rise Up in St. Petersburg this March, Florida’s Wanee Festival in April, and of course the boys are playing at the mother of all reggae festivals – Monterey’s California Roots Music and Arts Festival 2016 over Memorial Day Weekend. Now that two solo singles are successfully in the books for Ryan Gonzo, it’s not a giant stretch of the imagination that a full-length album is to follow before the year’s end, yet nothing has been officially declared affirming this theory.
Preview and download “Rock” on
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.