Gnod – Just say no…

gnodIn complete contrast to the previous two posts, here we have a whole heap of ‘AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!’ aimed right at your face.  And what a fine heap of grumpy-old-man stuff it is, too. Mind you, they’re probably a bit younger than me (I’m 46).

Gnod have made it their recent mission to try and re-politicise the alternative music scene. My own feelings on this are mixed because I have to admit I’ve never seen a tsunami turn back because of protesters on the beach, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be encouraging people to pull their heads out of their ****book feeds and actually look at the world around them and try to re-engage with other actual people, instead of relying on some commentator you will never meet to tell you that things are actually one way that suits them better than you. Also, people are actually nicer to each other when they talk to each other instead of when they argue on the internet, a pastime which only brings out one thing in people and that is the worst.

It reminds me in spirit of the last great outpourings of political music that I was aware of in the 1990s, particularly around the Criminal Justice Act that came in around that time. One of the main reasons for my mixed feelings is because the discontent from those times was one of the main reasons for Tony Blair, and I don’t believe I need to explain why we don’t want a repeat of all that, now. For all that we decry the current wave of so-called populism, it seems it was alright when he did it. But now I’m going all political and frankly I should leave that to this album, and I’m also giving the impression that I think political music is mistaken when I don’t actually think that at all.

So anyway, musically speaking, this is five tracks of loud done in the way that Gnod do loud, which is to say very well. There is rhythm and groove as is their wont, loud guitars, snarling guitars and vocals, and, er, well. You get the message.

I also wouldn’t be at all surprised if you weren’t to see this on a t-shirt or ten before the year is out.

But whilst we’re talking Gnod, I’ve also just discovered The Somnambulist’s Tale from 2012, which is completely at the opposite end of the sonic spectrum from this and demonstrates just how fucking good they have always been. And did you notice that I asterisked a particular web-resource, but left the word ‘fucking’ uncensored? Have it.

Seven That Spells

It was towards the end of last year I discovered these ‘dogs of the Western Jazz society, looking for dope,’ probably around the time I got into the Villagers of Ioannina City – not that I was consciously going after rock music from the balkans; sometimes this stuff just happens that way.

svnspWhat we are hearing is a kind of prog-psych fusion, at least to my ears. The meat of their music is repetitive, heavy and long, with doses of chanting vocals thrown in – there’s something very masculine about it all. What is more, they are single-handedly seeing to the death AND resurrection of krautrock, a decidedly dangerous task only to be even contemplated by the hardiest of musical shamen.

All their stuff is worth hearing, but my personal favourite – and hence the one I’m going to embed – is the collaboration they did with Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple, called The Men From Dystopia. Imagine what I’ve typed above but with added space noises and freakouts – now go away and clean yourself up, dirty boy.

This one really is not for the short of attention span, but if you’re familiar with AMT then I don’t suppose shortness of duration is part of the expectation, anyway.

Expect trance, firsthand.