We’ve met half of Paisiel before in this parish, one Julius Gabriel. He is clearly one to watch.
So a percussion ensemble went and made a really political album with no words. Apart from the words on their bandcamp page, and I think you should read them whilst listening to the music.
In 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.
This counts as a proper ‘finger on the pulse’ moment for me, although not intentionally. I discovered this the other day whilst looking for something else – which I shall post about in a more general post – and having bought and loved it and decided to post about it, discovered that it’s just been reviewed by a proper ‘cool’ site too.
I knew about Jon Mueller through the magnificent Death Blues (see also here), but hadn’t actually followed since because I don’t know why not. This is easily as good. If you’re familiar with the one Liars album that I personally care for, Drum’s Not Dead, then imagine that played in two epic pieces, 15 minutes and 19 minutes long. How You Look When You’re not Looking is more vocal heavy, whereas What I Thought You Said focuses more on the rhythm. They both make me think of ecstatic shamanic experiences, wordless vocals and chants interacting with tribal rhythms and a minimalist drone. The layers of these ingredients build up into an utterly hypnotic experience.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, and my album of the year queue just had a new entry.