At The End Of The Day
Metal Blade Records
Back in 1998, the greatly underrated Galactic Cowboys released their 5th full length studio album, At The End Of The Day. This was something I passed on initially, as I was rather underwhelmed with the previous The Horse That Bud Bought. Pity that, as having gotten around to sucking it up and giving the disc the listen it deserves, it seems that At The End Of The Day was very much worth my attention back then.
While they’ve been given given the tag of a heavy metal band, I’ve always considered the Galactic Cowboys to be more of a hard modern rock band, kind of what the Beatles would have sounded like if they came about in the Grunge era in the 1990s instead of the 1960s. At The End Of The Day continues on in that grand tradition, with some heavy yet hook-laden guitar-driven hard rock complimented with Beatle-esque vocal harmonies, intermixed with some atmospheric and psychedelic styles for progressive flavor.
The heavier stuff lies with album opener “Nothing To Say”, “Just Like Me”, “Young Man’s Dream”, and “The Shape”; there are some good catchy mid-paced songs they’re really good at, like “Ants”, the jangle-pop flavored “Shine”, a very dirge-like “It’s Not Over”, and a psychedelic ballad with “Through” The big concept here, though, is the multi-part Machine Fish Suite, which consists of tracks four through ten (“Where Do I Sign?”, “Bright Horizons”, “Puppet Show”, “Mr. Magnet”, “Never Understand”, “Ranch On Mars pt. 2 (Set Me Free)” and “How Does It Fell?”), which tells the tale of the band’s struggles up to that point. They’re all individually unique, but all fit together to form a fascinatingly entertaining bit of musical play.
Overall, At The End Of The Day ranks now as my third favorite Galactic Cowboys release of theirs, behind Space In Your Face and Machine Fish, respectively. It’s vintage Galactic Cowboys, from the cover art (which is said to be a parody of the Somewhere In Time album by Iron Maiden) to the catchy guitar hooks and vocal melodies.