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- Split by Gnod / A Middle Sex
9/10 Brian Staff review, 16 December 2010
Right. I got excited by this one & rightly so. Gnod knocked my spotty socks off with their self-titled album last year and the A Middle Sex guys are some of the friendliest musicians I've ever stood with, chatted to & smoked tabs alongside in my life. I'll start with them, the Manchester-based lads, as I'm already immersed in their echo-laden tribal cosmic cruise-a-thon. There was something I loved about the Thread Pulls album but the vocals started to get right on my tits after 3 listens. Luckily, with this crew, their rhythmic onslaught isn't blighted by sharp, echoed human interjections with no variation in tone. After the brief kosmische teaser intro, you're shoved head-first into a 10 minute long melee where somewhere along the line you detect a tiny smattering of blurred intonations that disperse like smoke. There isn't much space for lyrical embellishment here, see. The possessed, shuddering floor of multi-layered drums & arresting, shifting walls of stirring sonic fallout - check the blinding astral woosh & spidery psychedelic guitar tendrils - all combine to suck your big stupid face off. I was pissed off when it drew to a close, somehow convinced it should continue into eternity. Gnod on the other hand just slap you hard with a wonderfully druggy, staggering dirge of ghostly effects; sprawling doomy discordance; psychedelic guitar meandering and muffled wailing. It sounds like a completely listless shambling mess but in a proper amazing way. I feel like stoking up a massive opium bong and sitting on their (probably quite grubby & burnt) Turkish carpet.
10/10 HeavyDarkdoom Customer review,
Having listened to a load of the earlier Gnod stuff I'd moved onto other things for a while. Came back listening to the Dropout II vinyl (mindblowingly spacious collab with White Hills - maaaaaan that's some mad studio sounds, different than live but still top class), go this and they prove that the live sound really is THEIR sound. The natural way they seem to grow the sounds and create something totally unparallelled by other bands at the moment is raw yet musically explosive - must note that apparently all the gigs and recordings are essentially improvised around simple repetetive rhythm lines reminiscent of This Heat meeting Neu or Faust...so to hear the quality they come out with, without contriving the sound with over-musicality, is definitely unique and imho leads the way currently in the UK for a new way of performing (and of course self-managing too!) without being anything other than entirely natural. This vinyl is just another step up for Gnod who always impress more with each release. Gnod to the vibe of Gnod...
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