Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ganglians: Monster Head Room

I will be welcoming some new faces to Bmore Musically Informed from time to time, the first of whom goes by Madeline Maulding. She will present ideas from an (amazing) local musician's perspective, and I am super excited to have her on board. Here she is:

Hold on to your hats 'cause I'm about to get my hyphenate on: From its vaguely-inebriated-sounding glee-club beginning to its tripped-out-Beach-Boys ending, Ganglians' 2009 effort on the Woodsist label, Monster Head Room, exudes a barely-concealed ebullience. This already heavily-lauded four-piece from Sacramento brings their charmingly awkward brand of neo-psych to Baltimore tomorrow, and if their album is any indication of their show it will be a performance not to miss.

The album--out on a Brooklyn-based concern which has housed many a lo-fi neophyte such as Crystal Stilts, Kurt Vile, and Vivian Girls--is utterly danceable and energetic almost entirely throughout, with its Indian-brave battle cries, acoustic guitar tracks jangling alongside bouncing bass lines, and vocal harmonies all eyeball-deep in reverb...

The whole affair is generally light-hearted on a sonic level, though some songs twist the narrative line into more somber corners. "The Void" with its bad-trip breakdown, the wistful "To June" with its summertime wildlife backdrop, and the acoustic "Modern African Queen" provide pauses in the middle of the ecstatic bedlam. The highlight for me is "100 Years," a raucous garage anthem replete with enough barbaric yawping to make it sound like it came straight off one of the Teenage Shutdown compilations.

Ganglians comes to the Ottobar with labelmates Wavves on Wednesday, September 30th. It promises to be a great time, with both groups bringing their own version of the rollicking, fuzzed-out, youthful effervescence which seems to have permeated marginalized pop music in these less-than-carefree times.

Don't forget our photographic coverage of the last time Wavves was in town, right here.

1 comment:

Brett said...

This was a really fantastic and seemingly overlooked record, I look forward to seeing what these guys have to offer live.