Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Gang Wizard - God-Time Universal Continuum Calibration (olFactory Records/Lost Treasures of the Underworld/Green Tape/TANzProcesz LP)
The start of school has arrived, so sorry for the delay on the reviews. If a four label co-release doesn't make up for it though, I don't know what will. Gang Wizard, which has had releases all over the place (including a 7" on DNT as well as items on Load and Ecstatic Peace) is, at least on this go around, a sextet consisting of some major players in the underground scene. Brian Miller plays in Foot Village, Eva Aguila's in Kevin Shields, Ren Schofield's in Deep Jew, and Val Martino is a some-time Leslie Keffer collaborator. Jake Anderson and Mike Landucci are the co-founders of the group, and seem to be the most chaste in their musical duties to the group. This is their first studio recording, and to my ear the whole thing sounds great.
First off, you've gotta give props to the cover artist. I don't know who did it, but the whole Yellow Submarine/hipster freak children bubble land thing really sums it all up, like some big fucked up circus. The first side slips right in, opening with "Whoever Invents," a scatter brained roam through free-rock tom-foolery. THe mumbled vocals across the disc are like a cross between Malcolm Mooney and John Moloney, real mindless material. Electric wig-outs come and go as the percussion keeps the whole thing chugging forward beautifully. "Bad Teacher" works up a sweat of its own, tearing across the record like some punked out No-Neck cover band. Like if Arto Lindsay rocked with Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood or something. Weird stuff that eventually tapers off into no man's land electronic babble--there's even a creepy kiddie voice babbling itself into the abyss of oscillators and record scratches. Somehow I can't picture all of this taking place in a studio. I wonder what kidn of damage the place incurred...
Side two is one mammoth track menacingly entitled "Why Pharaoh Hanged the Baker." I don't know who Pharaoh or the Baker are, but it sounds like this was some grizzly scene. The beginning, filled with warbling turntables and electronic blips and blurts, could be some basement free super group jam, really whacked to hell and super chaotic. It's like DJ Shadow mixing Wolf Eyes or something. Eventually the low engine rumble of some warped electronic drifts apart only to once again be joined, this time by the whole ensemble plus the shattered vocals of some alcoholic high priest. It's a hell of a toe tapper, let me tell you. By the time the whole electronic mess subsides, the situation becomes a bit more focused, though equally zonked out. Blurting squelches and airplane propellers all mixed in with the percussive pounding of maniacal repetition. Some of it actually sounds like the same breed of silly wiling out of the Residents or something, although again, larger-scale music freak outs like those of Sunburned surely show through. Still, there's a distinctly electronic, in-your-face angle here. It hasn't lost any of it's rotten as shit, snot on the walls punk attitude. It's simply filtered through a more experimental filter. By the time this monument of psychosis inducement has subsided you'll be ripped to shreds. Brutally killer.