Imagine a band called Guerilla Toss who have released on the likes of Tzadik and Digitalis. Yup that’s what they sound like. Gay Disco is a chaotic, skronk-jazz, surrealist attack from all angles. It’s joyously angular and bubbling over with hyperactive energy. Loud, raw and unpredictable - for fans of not knowing what the hell is going on. Out on vinyl LP from NNA Tapes.
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- Gay Disco by Guerilla Toss
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Disclaimer: Norman Records review boss Clinton would be without a doubt the worst doctor of all time. Having just prescribed me flourescent, universe-shifting jazz punk as a cure-all for the worst flu of my existence, we have decided to revoke his medical license and take away his white coat.
It’s hard to recommend a soothing record from the NNA Tapes collective, to be fair, and Guerilla Toss’ ‘Gay Disco’ may be the most sporadic and uncharted thing they’ve released yet, a far cry from their usual inclinations and a whole lot more reminiscent of bands like Ponytail, Black Dice and disco grinders Melt-Banana. The album cover looks something like a level from a Mario platformer if it was transposed into one of Pink Floyd’s early albums, and the album follows up on that bizarre, syncopated vibe, offering indecipherable screams from howler-in-chief Kassie Carlson, timed out guitar strums engineered to sound like they’re being played with a blowtorch and a mask, and drums that write and then rewrite the definition for “off-kilter”; they work so perfectly that it’s hard to tell when they’ve lost and found rhythm.
This is ultimately a pop record, though, so don’t go getting any grand ideas about John Zorn and the end of the world; the lack of stringent melodies is compensated for with songs that do ridiculous things so as to stay memorable, the band traversing abstract, hardcore-influenced fast bits with interlocking grooves and gleefully wacky synths. It’s jazz insofar as it doesn’t know what else it is: on the rugged stomp of “Sugar Better”, the band take a disconnected sample and then seemingly improvise over it, sticking to a fluid verse for a minute or so before descending into screams and guitars that have been pulled and bent by hell. At times, ‘Gay Disco’ is an obnoxious mess, but it’ll occasionally feel like the soundtrack to your next party with M. C. Escher.
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