Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gorse – Twisting Nature

Life is full of accidents.  Some are big, most are small.  Sometimes they are unfortunate, like that time you were finally at the Motley Crue concert, and literally as you were stepping out of your car, you sharted yourself in a major way.  Like, your two options were to brave the venue restroom and try to clean yourself up, or spend the rest of the night knowing you can't sit down and everyone within a few feet of you is going to wonder what that smell is.

Then there are the happy accidents, like stumbling across a band and album you love.  Which is the case with me and this album.  I was searching for some music for my radio show and found this album because it happened to be free on Bandcamp.  I listened to it, and then I listened some more, and then just to make sure I got it right, I listened again.

Gorse are a little hard to pin down in terms of musical styles, and that is one of the things I like very much about them.  There are some lovely psychedelic tinges and twinges laced throughout their tunes.  There is some doom, things get a little stoner-ish due to the song lengths and the drone which they manage to get going on some of their songs.  There are all kinds of little flashes that put you in mind of another band or a certain song, but most of what they do is unique and definitely their own.  I like that they know what they are doing well enough that they can take different elements and make them totally their own.

Album opener “The Last Battle” starts things off with a free form feeling freakout that leaves you thinking that you have no idea what you are in for.  “Isandlwana” coalesces that freakout into a solid song that moves between light and heavy, with some nice groove in the heavy parts.  “Suspension of Belief” feels spacey and dreamy despite the heaviness that the band brings to the song.  “Tunnel Visions” is one of my favorites on the album.  There are some very cool psychedelic touches in this one, and there is more of a groove rather than a drone feel as well.  “Humpback” comes along and reverses that, with its repeating riff figures and hypnotic vocal lines.  It is easy to nod along with and get that feeling of drifting off and flowing with the music.  And then “Funeral Jazz” comes along to wrap things up, feeling slightly dirgey and definitely flowing freely like good jazz.  That's when you find yourself wanting to take the ride again, so you fire up the album for another listen.

Like all good albums, this one draws you in and captivates your pleasure centers.  It hits your brain in a way that makes you want to experience it over and over, and as you do so you notice new things in every song that make you listen more.  It's a wonderful listening experience that I would recommend to all of you. 

Oh and that Motley Crue story?  Totally wasn't me.


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