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This is Li'l Bi's review for the original wax of Vol. 1
Everyone loves Gnod right? These Manchester lads have got the balance between freeform improvised, Krautrock groove and cosmic Space Rock down to a fine art with tons of sweet self-released Tapes/CD'S and a couple of LP's (including a split with White Hills) to prove it. Prior to their last European tour they we're invited to a small studio in Chaudelande, a town in the Normandy countryside of France, to record a bunch of tracks. The result is the Chaudalande sessions which will be released in two volumes, this obviously being the first. 'Tron' and 'Visions Of Load' dominate the first side. 'Tron' is an epic bonger filled with massive Acid Mothers-esque riffage and the gnarliest bass tone I've heard in some time. This is complimented by a metronomic drum groove and lashings of echo drenched vocal rants. It's total space-echo abuse at it's finest. 'Visions Of Load' is similarly motorik in the groove department and echo's the style recently displayed by Wooden Shjips spin-off Moon Duo. This is a real solid pleasurable ear sauce that brings to mind a more ballsy version of the recent kraut inspired Cave LP. 'The Vertical Dead' completes volume 1 in spiritual style with a slow burning mantra that evolves over 17 or so minutes without ever really peaking. Brings to mind Om but with more players. So yeah, three very different compositions from one killer act. What more could you ask for in these impressively bleak times.
And here is Mike's glowing write-up for the equally pummeling Vol. 2!
Woop woop! The last volume of these whacked out Gnod jams was so fuckin' good we made it album of the week a month or so back, so we're understandably all pretty stoked to get our mitts on this second bong-fueled instalment to complete the ride. Upon dropping the needle there's drifting ritualistic chants and jangles, easing us into our psychedelic journey before swirling electronic whooshes are joined by crunchy trebly guitar, rumbling bass and pounding drums carving out a hard grooving repeato riff with babbling vocals buried in the mix. After a few minutes of that they switch to a more full-sounding two-chord propulsive rock jam with busier treblier bass and sheets of wah-abuse. Crikey. Second track 'Entrance' has a pulsing 3/4 beat and more babbling and wah madness and swirling psychedelia. There's a bit in the middle where they take it right down to this nebulous 1/1 bass drum pulse and leave us floating in the ether before the guitar swings back in to percussively resuscitate the grinding waltz for a repeat salvo of searing, snarling psych pounding...It's going to melt your face! On the flip is 'Genocider', a grinding kraut rock jam with a surfy double snare hit on the two and a pummelling two-chord riff laying down the usual psychedelic Hawkwind-meets-White Hills mayhem, with snotty reverbed vocals completing the picture. Totally wild, unhinged stuff. At one point they do this thing where they get loose and it nearly falls apart and then they tighten it back up again Oxes-style but overall the pummelling intensity of this track is more on a Shit & Shine/Unsane sort of tip. Once again they've come up with the goods with an LP that doesn't just work as a great companion to the first volume but stands alone as a riveting document of one of the UK's most compelling psych combos...in fact Brian just said he thinks they're Manchester's best band right now, so make of that what you will. Brace yourself for a wild ride!
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- Chaudelande by GNOD
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