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.