The Gotobeds are a fired-up rock band with a jagged-edged, noisy sound: all gnarled and twisted and shouting. Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic, which doesn’t appear to contain any Red Hot Chilli Peppers covers, is released by Sub Pop in CD and cassette tape editions, plus two differently-presented vinyl editions.
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That title, though. That title. Is it good or bad? How good or bad is a piece of string? Worse than the Gotobeds, who make pleasant angry music under the guise of jagged guitars and smirking vocal pouts. From the off, you’d have more of a fun time comparing this band’s quick, quirky shred to Husker Du than that band Flea is in, though the record proves itself to be a fine indie punk record in general: the chord sequences are jaunty but often delightful, while the vocals move from eager Pixies squeal to disenfranchised sighs.
So basically, this is all things you want from a catchy record: it pulls at your heart and kicks your brain out of bed like a loud alarm. “Bodies” is led by a marching drumbeat and a wailing, synth-imitating riff that can’t decide whether it wants you to love it or hate it. “Brass Not Rash” has a chord sequence right out of the Strokes’ book, as if they were turning street corners in New York (do people drive, there? I got a lift once). “Why’d You” has an opening bass line so immaculate it sounds like the rest of the music is a car reversing over it. The chaotic movements of "Cold Gold" are lost on you 'til they reach a riff half as metal as Tony Molina. It’s music that moves so fluidly you forget it’s also been well calibrated.
I like the bits best where the Gotobeds sound sincere and sombre, where they’re not as chirpily uncaring as the Croquet Courts or whatever they’re called these days -- often, those moments come together, though, the band’s uncompromising yelps, silly vocalisations and wonky riffs coming a second before the striking chord or momentary lapse that makes you go like, “damn, that was affecting”. Damn: that was affecting.
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- Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic by The Gotobeds
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