When you see “GeminiiDragon” in print, you might conjure images of a Bruce Lee martial arts film. Or that neighborhood takeout place with those cute little white boxes. When you listen to GeminiiDragon, you are whisked back to a time when Bruce was in his heyday, fashion was colorful to say the least, and appliances in pastel colors were common.
GeminiiDragon hails from Thibodaux, Louisiana. Thibodaux is a sister city to Houma, Louisiana, home of blues rock icon Tab Benoit. Though relatively new to the Blues Rock scene, the influences are not. Jessica Harper (aka GeminiiDragon) like many vocalists started singing in church at a young age. The late 60s blues rock movement hit her early on as a teen; “(it) became part of my DNA. I feel like I’ve known Jimi Hendrix my entire life”. GeminiiDragon is backed by Christian Simeon on guitar, Dougie V on bass, E Sass on drums, and backing vocalist La La Thomas.
Equinox is their sophomore release following 2022’s Fighting Fire with Fire. It features 10 tracks that are like a Cajun dish, having a little bit of everything. A blues base with a couple of spoonsful of Hendrix, a dash of Zeppelin, and made with soul. Equinox was produced by The HATERZ and recorded at Beatrice and LaShangrila Studios.
The album opens with “Sister Switchblade” with driving guitar and vocals, you can certainly pick up the Hendrix influences. “Time” is next with a mellow groove about moving on, that is reminiscent of early 80s late 70s less rebellious attitudes. “The Fighter” follows with a steady rhythm featuring Geminii’s vocals that call for us to overcome adversity. “Ballad of Willie Mae & George” is the first single from the album. Gritty guitar riffs backdrop the story of poor unfaithful George and Willie Mae’s potential lethal retribution, “She don’t like to play. She don’t want no fuss. She got both barrels ready to burn if you don’t make right tonight”. “You Got It Good” is a playful song that will loosen up those hips and get those toes tapping. “Rusty Gun” is a guitar driven rocker where Geminii admits a dash of Zeppelin is more than a secret ingredient. The title track “Equinox” relives the psychedelic imagery of the 70s and feels like driving in the summer with the top down and no traffic. “Hands of Time” is a soulful reflection of love lost and is the closest thing to a ballad on the album. “Good Thang” is fun feel good song featuring Geminii’s and La La’s vocal harmonies, if you can’t get your body moving to this one, check your pulse. The album closes with “Bad Rumors” which feels out of context with the rest of the record. There’s a certain punk rock aspect that is intentional as Geminii’s tribute to Joan Jett and the Runaways. It’s a fun song, it just may seem out of place with the other tracks.
To borrow a term from the film industry, Equinox is a period piece showcasing a time when the blues rock movement was in its infancy. Artists experimented with putting their signatures on sound and style without regard to predefined notions of genre expectation. It is a fun album foremost with underlying themes of empowerment and motivation. I would recommend listening to it more than once. Like the first time trying Cajun food, your palette doesn’t know what to expect and is unsure. Subsequent plays bring out the blend of spices and ingredients that make it both unique and enjoyable.
The Review: 8/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– Sister Switchblade
– Ballad of Willie Mae & George
– Rusty Gun
– Good Thang
The Big Hit
– Ballad of Willie Mae & George