Norman Records

Ganglians - Still Living

Recommended by us on 2nd September 2011. 2 people love me. Be the 3rd...

Still Living by Ganglians

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(1 review) 8/10

Reviews

8/10 according to on Thu 01 Sep, 2011

Ganglians are back! This time with what has to be their most radio friendly offering to date. That's not to say that they've lost their garagey charm or anything, but this album is totally accessible from beginning to end. If you've not heard these guys before I guess the best way to describe them would be that they're like the Beach Boys put through a '90s slacker rock filter. There's the obligatory '60s reverb that every garage band must use right now, but beneath that there's shambling grooves, and beneath those there's melodies that will stay in your head for days at a time. The production this time around does seem more polished than on their previous outings, though; the tones have been honed to perfection and the mix is very sensitive so you can hear everything that's going on. The pacing is slow throughout but it just lets the beautiful tunes really breathe, and within a few minutes we get to the excellently catchy 'Evil Weave' followed straight up by the mega-uplifting and epic album highlight 'Sleep' and it's clear this disc won't disappoint. I mean, granted, I do love my slacker rock, but with that love comes fussiness, and on tracks like this these guys tick all my boxes and bob straight past my defences. The pace of this whole record is very slow which might be offputting to some garage fans after something a bit more peppy, but the songs aren't depressing and overall it's got the feeling of monged out beach music for lazy summer afternoons. Shame the summer's all but over really.

Soundclips

Press release

Ganglians’ affection for a sweet melody and wistful lyrical turn was apparent on their acclaimed debut set Monster Head Room and their collectable Captured Tracks 7” of 2009, ‘Blood on the Sand’ – but Still Living, predominantly produced by Robby Moncrieff (Dirty Projectors, Zach Hill), furthers the vision of Grubbs and company. Says the man himself: “It’s a double‐LP for a reason – we wanted to try many different ideas while doing everything in real time, with no metronome and mainly our own instruments. There’s a whole bunch of things tossed in, with various styles going on.”

But, brilliantly, the seams between stylistic shifts aren’t detectable – Ganglians have taken the experimental blueprints of this album’s predecessor and updated (and expanded) their designs. So, moods move from quiet introspection to boisterous merriment, chords stimulating the synapses while the toes can’t keep from twitching. Says Grubbs of the end results: “This is outsider music, but with a pop sensibility that brings everyone in.”

He’s right to highlight the non‐exclusivity of this fare – it might have been made with envelope‐pushing intent, but little on Still Living will leave the listener truly perplexed; unless, of course, they choose to delve deep into the rabbit hole of Grubbs’ inspirations. It’s personal, intimate and romantic, with metaphor preferred over the matter‐of‐fact musing of some other bands riding loosely comparable rhythms. “It’s pretty honest music,” says Grubbs. “Honestly, everyone feels a great range of emotions, like awkwardness and self‐doubt, and not wanting to have to be cool to be cool. And that’s what these songs are like.”

“…an impressive nugget of jet‐propelled, mind expanding rock 'n' roll.” ‐ Clash

“Ganglians make us want to pack our bags, move to California and live on a beach surviving purely on cigarettes and utter contentment.” – NME

“One of the real undiscovered gems” ‐ Uncut

“This is pure aural sunshine – music to bask in.” – The Fly

“Great new band, feeding the Beach Boys through a modern mincer” – Sunday Times Culture

“Ganglians are wild men – they make music that gets fresh air all up in your teeth and gums.” ‐ Pitchfork

TRACKLISTING:

1. Drop The Act
2. That’s What I Want
3. Evil Weave
4. Sleep
5. Jungle
6. Bradley
7. Things To Know
8. Good Times
9. The Toad
10. California Cousins
11. Faster
12. My House

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