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GasHead - The Isolationist
- Erik Myers, Scene magazine
Having dabbled in instrumentals and Latin acoustic influences, FoCo headbangers GasHead have dropped the pretenses for their third album, The Isolationist. The crazed quartet’s true calling: heavy-as-hell thrash metal.

Really, who needs experimentation when you’ve got universe-bending Satriani-styled solos? Or nightmarish power chord progressions? GasHead has grown as a band, but by sticking to a routine that doesn’t radically change direction, they have constructed a smashingly good top-to-bottom album.

Isolationist starts off with a big ruddy bang with “Dissolve,” an accelerating kicker led by lead singer Josh Purdy, who balances straight singing with the guttural screeches that are typically despised by listeners outside of the metal genre. Yet there’s something accessible about Purdy’s approach. Maybe it’s the dark humor of his lyrics: “You’re either fat or fucking hungry, third world picnic and there’s plenty of pie.”

One ought to take note of the plethora of issues tackled. “Juarez” is a blood-soaked take on the heavily populated Mexican city, a city plagued with recurring femicide and mass grave discoveries in the past few years. Meanwhile, “1s0s” is an ode to technologic horror.
Occasionally Mike Lopez breaks away from the thematic for glorious guitar solos that sound primed for an expert tier in the next Guitar Hero.

GasHead might not sound differently from most quality metal acts, but there’s no doubt that they’ve worked hard on their latest effort. You can hear it in the quality production and the challenging guitar solos. That, in itself, says something to their abilities; in this genre, perhaps more than any other, it can be hard to not suck. - Scene Magazine

From Rough Edge Reviews
GasHead - The Isolationist || 3.5 out of 4 rating
Let's just say this right off: GasHead is a superb band.
The first thing I noticed about "The Isolationist" is that just about all of the songs have enough hooks to keep the CD interesting throughout. Combine that with outstanding metal musicianship and this becomes one fine recording.

What I liked best about this CD is that the music was fun and easy to listen to. That's too often a difficult thing to say about a heavy metal CD, but GasHead makes it look easy with "The Isolationist." GasHead is a band that knows how to deliver a great recording and I wholly recommend this CD. The band even does a great cover of the Testament tune, "Disciples of the Watch."

- Rough Edge Reviews

Since 2003, GasHead has set the standards for instrumental speed metal, but with this latest release, Gashead has finally added something to their band that they‚ve never had before, in the studio or on a stage ˜ a mic stand.

The Isolationist is the band‚s first full-length vocal album, produced by long-time Front Range guitar bad-ass Dave Beegle. Three of the vocal cuts are completed by local singer, James Brennan, while GasHead lead vocalist Josh Purdy holds down the majority of the tracks.

The addition of vocals has been carefully handled by the band. They add a lot without taking away from the hard-driving Satriani-style guitarwork that has always been the band‚s cornerstone. It‚s a slippery slope that so far the band has traversed miraculously. If the lyrics continue to be as strong in the future as the ones on The Isolationist, the band will have hit a stride that could carry them for some time. - The Marquee magazine "Unsigned in 2006"
GasHead - Knuckles Avec Sombreros
Review: This is some of the best music I've ever heard. Megadeth meets Joe Satriani. Heavy tight riffs with melodic soloing. This band does all instrumentals, but these are not just instrumentals. They're songs! There's a beginning, a middle, and an end. Great stuff! I couln't get over how talented these three guys are. They sound like they've been playing together for years. The music has a great groove to it, and the soloing is not overdone. It's just enough to make the songs sound great. I can't say enough good things about these guys!
Favorite Tracks: All of them!
Least Favorite Tracks: None

Westword "Movers and Shakers of 2005"
Dec 22, 2005
GasHead, Knuckles Avec Sombreros (Fist Music). Instrumental thrash with an understated Latin sensibility, GasHead's successor to LandSpeedRecord takes humorous liberties by tweaking metal's big, bad, bloated sense of itself. Instead of snarling goats and inverted crosses, the Fort Collins-based trio raises Molotov cocktails in a gleeful toast to abstract science, hockey and the absurd. Shred alert! -- La Briola

Published: Thursday, April 7, 2005
GasHead: Knuckles Avec Sombreros (Hapi Skratch Records)
By John La Briola
Despite the glaring lack of an evil, fire-snorting frontman, instrumental thrash trio GasHead avoids the kind of cliches that plague most aggressive-metal acts -- everything from overemphasizing Satan to celebrating global annihilation. Instead, the Fort Collins-based outfit injects its headbanging with humor and occasional Latin-flavored inflections. "Benediction," the album's opener, defies convention with an unlikely swing beat and a brooding narrator who toasts the album's guiding light (a hero named Atomic GasHead) with a round of Molotov cocktails. From that point onward, the boys shred in spades, showcasing six-string shootouts between lead and rhythm guitarists Mike Lopez and Derek Maness, while hide-beater Nate Scofield conducts a double-kick clinic. Polished production by local luminary Dave Beegle fleshes out a relentlessly heavy batch of tunes that hark back to the first wave of crunchy metallurgists Megadeth and Testament. Paying homage to Joe Satriani and Steve Vai (along with Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote, during "Into the Glass"), GasHead more than compensates for any absence of a bile-spewing leader. Stripped down to the basics, this stuff still packs a punch.

Hyperactive Magazine
Issue No.7
Review of Knuckles Avec Sombreros by Tamara McCollough
This Ft. Collins trio continues its ode to "instru-metal" nefariousness with it's second release, and manages to creep you out without saying a word. Despite the eye-rolling name, GasHead delivers tight, vehement tracks, featuring expeditious percussion by Nate Scofield and righteous riffs from tag-team guitarists Mike Lopez and Derek Maness. "Atomic GasHead" bears traditional hardcore elements, similar to Pantera and Megadeth, getting listeners pumped and pitiless. "Entangled....Spooky At a Distance" offers an exception to the instrumental theme with a guest vocalist --- Satan. Between the double-bashing drums and precise axe-shredding, GasHead drops what fans, bored with the current state of metal, have been craving for.

RoughEdge Reviews
Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter
I'll be honest ˆ I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I put GasHead's "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" into the CD player. The artwork suggested something less than heavy metal or hard rock for that matter ˆ it evoked an image more fitting for Los Lonely Boys, assuming they were modern rockers rather than Tex-Mex kings. The title was just flat out confusing - "Knuckles Avec Sombreros"? English, French, and Spanish are all represented in the album title with nary a link among them.So what's "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" all about? Well, it's about living in the moment with shredding being the order of the day. Co-lead guitarists Mike Lopez and Derek Maness shred their way into six-string bliss on every track. While not entirely over-the-top, it's pretty clear to me that restraint wasn't necessarily the first thing these cohorts in guitar mayhem concerned themselves with upon waking up each day. Nine original songs are augmented by two particularly impressive cover songs. The originals are up-tempo rockers that are uplifting and expressive without being too weighty for their own sake. The covers include a balls-out expanded heavy duty version of George Lynch's guitar solo track "Without Warning" while a fairly faithful rendition of Def Leppard's instrumental classic "Switch 625" gets an honest treatment from the band. Technical proficiency doesn't get in the way of having fun with these guys. GasHead show a strong sense of humor (despite a lack of lyrics/vocals except for the intro track) and playfulness missing from most artists' outward musical expressions. There is a lot of joy expressed on "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" and it's nice to hear for a change.I thoroughly enjoyed "Knuckles Avec Sombreros" and if you are the slightest bit interested in guitar instrumentals that GasHead are worth checking out.
- MetalMeyhem/Westword/Hyperactive/Rough Edge


Visit to access downloads/high quality streams of all our recordings. In addition, iTunes/ Rhapsody / Amazon ect... carry most our releases.
2003 - LandSpeedRecord (Hapi Skratch Entertainment)
2005 - Knuckles Avec Sombreros (Hapi Skratch Entertainment)
2007 - The Isolationist (Hapi Skratch Entertainment)
2009 - Seething Apparatus [EP]



It all started in 2002 with the demise of Mike Lopez's band Eve’s Drop. Mike wanted a challenge, and instrumental rock guitar seemed the stiffest, especially given the long shadow cast by area legends Fourth Estate. Mike recruited drummer and fellow manufacturing-plant employee Nate Scofield to record the first CD, LandSpeedRecord (Hapi Skratch Records, 2003). LSR started a long streak of outstanding reviews for the band and featured a set that included hints at thrash, a Van Halen-ish hoedown, and a Spanish-themed number. The second track, Submarine Limousine, ended up on an instrumental compilation from the east coast called Quintessence and also brought home the group’s first Hapi Skratch award for best instrumental rock track of the year. Mysterious Dead Orleans was chosen to compete for rock instrumental of the year in the 2004 Just Plain Folks international music competition. For live shows, Mike asked long time friend Derek Maness to help out with the rhythm section. Fourth Estate member and studio musician Mike Olson completed the live line-up in addition to playing bass in-studio on most GasHead releases through 2007.

2005 saw GasHead release its ultimate thrash instro-metal CD with the humorously titled Knuckles Avec Sombreros. This time around GasHead had become more than just a project, the core of Mike Lopez, Derek Maness and Nate Scofield was truly a band. Knuckles displayed the direction the three were heading: heavier rhythms. The sound was akin to Satriani being influenced by the Bay-area thrash scene from the eighties. As progressive as the band could be at times, even the uninitiated listener was captured by the band’s groove. There was only one thing holding GasHead back -- a full-time bass player. That would come, but not before the band made the giant decision to include a vocalist in the mix. It was hard to turn their backs on what they had accomplished in the instrumental genre to this point, but perhaps they knew somewhere in the back of their minds that a new level of synchronicity was around the corner.

Kronow’s James Brennan was a label mate with GasHead and a like-minded Testament fan. He agreed to cut a couple newly written songs with the band to serve as a recruiting tool. Juarez, in particular, gave the band the confidence that they could in deed write a kick-ass metal song. Before long, Josh Purdy, who had at one time sung for The Mandrake, joined the band onstage to perform Testament’s The Preacher, and the band was impressed enough to offer him the gig.

Then in 2007, GasHead dropped The Isolationist, a CD that made instant fans wherever there were ears present. Purdy brought a three dimensional voice to the proceedings. At times, he flashed a punkish snarl (Dissolve), in another moment he layered proto-thrash screams and growls, and to top it all off, Josh occasionally sang in a slightly angular attack, a la Maynard Keenan. It was a perfect marriage for the riffs the original three had cooked up. About halfway through the recording, the band was also able to snag that elusive full-time bass player as Justin Vaughan came aboard in time to record such important tunes as Speak and Divide, Summer of Man’s Best Friend, and the well-chosen cover of Grip Inc.’s Ostracized. The Isolationist would capture another Hapi Skratch award, this time for best metal release. Local and national reviews were coming in and it was an unquestioned favorite among critics. There was a lot of credit to be shared. Nate Scofield rightly cemented his status as one of the elite metal drummer in all of Colorado. Creative, technical, and passionate about his instrument, Nate has, from day one, been indispensable to the music that Mike and the band write. Derek came off of Knuckles having contributed about half the solos on that CD, and he helped turn Juarez and Dissolve into a couple of the most highly regarded tracks. Mike had also ramped up his visibility as one of the most prolific artists in the state, and he was turning more heads for his guitar playing with every gig the band played. It was five members all taking forward steps in their own right. The GasHead sound was flourishing.

Recently, GasHead has turned in what could be argued as its hottest release, the 2009 CD/DVD Seething Apparatus [EP]. The hookiest slab of metal since Juarez, lead-off number Mind of God seems destined to propel the band into new strata of recognition. The performances are all of The Isolationist and then some. Twice the thundering drum work, twice the ripping solos, twice the vocal personality, more meaty riffs per square inch. If that wasn’t enough, a DVD featuring the bands’ first official music video is included. Justin filmed and edited a visually arresting video for Speak and Divide (from The Isolationistt) while he was in school at Colorado State University. The band expects the package to get a lot of attention.

Looking forward never requires much of a crystal ball for GasHead. The band