Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Two Faces Of Gookin feat. D. Gookin and 2 Ton Bug

I stormed into the claustrophobic room and slammed my hands palm down onto the table situated in front of the suspect.

“Listen up Gookin!  I’ve had enough of your games.  Do you realize how much trouble you’re in?  Wipe that smile off your face!”
“Detective Penfold, I don’t understand you.  Only a moment ago we were having a nice, pleasant conversation.  You left the room in a jovial mood, but now you’re back and clearly upset.  Why is that?”
“Hey!  I’ll ask the questions here Gookin.  Got that?”
“Of course Detective.  Of course.  You mentioned that I was in trouble?”
“Ohhhh yeah.  Big trouble.”
“I’ve done nothing wrong Detective.”
“Hahaha.  Play dumb all you want Gookin.  We’ve got enough evidence to put you away for a long time.”
“You can’t be serious.  What’s the charge?”
“Inciting excessive happiness and good cheer among the depressed, dejected masses.”
“That’s a crime?”
“You’d better believe it mister!”
“But I’m an artist.  Cheering people up is my job.”
“Can it Gookin.  I don’t want to hear any more of your socio-emotional ranting.  It’s bad enough that I had to listen to your so-called music.”
“You listened to my music Detective Penfold?  Which album did you listen to?”
“First I listened to your own Spiral Style EP, and then I listened to Wedding Of The Century where you play drums.”
“Did you like the music?”
“Did I like the music?  You bet I did.  It was great!  I loved it!  Say, is there a way I might be able to get a hold of some of your other relea…”

“Oh you’re good Gookin.  Too good.  In fact you’re so good, you’re dangerous!  You nearly had me there for a second.  All right.  Enough talk.  I’m leaving now.  When I come back I’ll have a formal confession that you will sign whether you like it or not.  And didn’t I tell you to get that smile off your face?”

D. Gookin - Spiral Style

I admit it.  I did not think it was possible.  If I had not heard it with my own ears, I would swear on anything you had handy that it was physically and theoretically impossible to capture the properties of sunshine inside a piece of electronic music.  Preposterous!  Can’t be done!  Well waveriders, I was wrong.  Dead wrong in fact.  Allow me to introduce you to an artist by the name of D. Gookin, and his newest EP entitled Spiral Style.

The music on this EP is electronic sunshine, plain and simple.  Joyous, effervescent, celebratory electronic music.  I’m telling you the truth.  Spiral Style effuses such good cheer and glee that it feels like your birthday and Christmas morning rolled into one package.  You’ll have to excuse me folks.  I listen to so much anger-fueled music that when I hear something great that is engineered to produce happiness instead of rage or gloom it is pretty shocking.  And I’ll be completely honest.  While I am not at all adverse to purely electronic music, it’s simply not my normal go-to genre.  Thus, when I stumble across someone like D. Gookin it helps to expand my horizons and make me a better listener.

There are six songs on the Spiral Style EP.  All six are appropriately upbeat and bubbly, but I don’t want to imply that they are simple copies of one another.  Not at all.  Each song has a strong, unique melody line that makes them easily identifiable.  Another element that changes from song to song is the vocals.  While there is a limited amount of clean vocals scattered throughout the EP it often sounds as if the vocals are being pumped through a vocorder, and at other times it sounds as if they were recorded underwater.  I can’t be sure, but I would guess Mr. Gookin sometimes uses a wah pedal to manipulate the vocals as well.  Regardless, I am very impressed with how immensely the vocals add to the overall sound and musical vibe.  I suppose if I were forced to pick one I would say that “Freak On A Cloud” is my favorite song of the bunch.  It’s a close call however as there is not a slacker in the bunch. 

Alrighty then people.  It’s time to sum up.  If you are having a bad or off day and need a musical pick me up to turn your frown upside down look no further than D. Gookin’s Spiral Style EP.  One listen and you’ll be skipping along chanting ‘happy happy, joy joy’.

Listen Here-

2 Ton Bug - Wedding Of The Century

Watch out waveriders because you’re about to be run over by a musical Mack truck coming straight out of left field!  I’m not joking folks.  I hit the play button on this album with absolutely no idea what to expect.  All I knew was that D. Gookin, whose excellent solo material made me very happy, plays drums in 2 Ton Bug, a band led by Joe Rumrill.  Wanting to prolong my happiness and expand my knowledge of Mr. Gookin’s work I dove in ears first.  Am I still happy after listening to Wedding Of The Century?  The short answer is absolutely!  A more refined answer would be yes, I’m incredibly happy, but in an entirely different manner than before.

2 Ton Bug is a direct shot of adrenaline to your brain.  Wedding Of The Century is an electro/punk/riff rock extravaganza with more energy than a collapsing star.  When the band kicked into ultra-high gear the first time it literally made me sit back in my chair.  Filthy is the adjective that most easily comes to mind when I think about this band’s sound.  They combine distorted guitars, washed-out keyboards, and overexposed drums (including a trash can) with megaphone-enhanced or strained vocals (female and male) to produce a sound that punches you right in the solarplexus. It sounds perfect!  It sounds fantastic!  I love it!

There are eight songs (all written by Mr. Rumrill) making up Wedding Of The Century.  I guarantee you won’t notice the first few times.  Nope.  Your brain will unconsciously rebel against this album ending and automatically force your finger to hit the play button and restart the ride.  It happened to me.  It will happen to you too.  But what about those songs?  Opener “Time Trabblin’” explodes with punk energy until about halfway through when it slows down to match up with a devastating guitar riff.  “Burn the Witch” has the potential to spark a combative hoe-down with its punk/country vibe.  “Tank Wipe” and “Meth Mouth” are fast and furious hardcore workouts.  “Follow the 2 Ton Bug” offers a fantastic Hendrix-like portion of “The Star Spangled Banner” before launching itself into orbit.  For crying out loud!  The only song which allows the listener to draw breath would be the slightly slower, ultra-groovy “Hurricane Lemmy”.

Waveriders I implore you.  Take the time today to head over to the 2 Ton Bug bandcamp page and listen to this album.  Do it now, thank me later.


Buy and Listen Here-

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