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Gnod & White Hills - Gnod Drop Out with White Hills II (2010)

I once saw Gnod play in a strange disused building in Manchester about four years ago as a friend's, friend's band and it was quite an experience even then. It was nothing short of ketamine fueled madness involving several drum kits, guitars, effects and a lunatic reading a crazed mantra from a piece of screwed up paper. From this early onslaught on the senses, Gnod have no doubt been through lineup changes, countless gigs, touring, jams, recording sessions and the like and my word does it show.

I'm not sure of the who-did-what on this album being both Gnod and White Hills collaborating, but I like to think of it as a huge hazy jam session with a dozen musicians playing off each other & zoning out. Because that's as sure as hell what it sounds like. This is very much a psychedelic rock record; glorious repetition, driving basslines, lots of textures, hazy vocals, and marching drums. The album revolves around some of the most solid and zoned out bass playing I've ever heard.

Drop Out consists of 4 epic jams (5 if you have the bonus track that comes with the reissue) interspersed with a few shorter tracks. The first proper track is 'Run-A-Round' and it's catchier than syphilis. Whether it's the bassist from White Hills or Gnod (most likely both together!) they probably play these lines in their sleep they're so damn... insistent! I can't get them out of my head! Drumming and and bass frequencies just force you to move; I challenge you to stay still for the duration of this tune. No chance matey.

'Spaced Man' sees more White Hills influence with a relative orthodox two note riff and even a chord change or two! But that massive dirge-like riff is irresistible and forms a solid base for the swirling psychedelic effects blanketed over the top. The track drops out at the end of 7mins and is bathed in a warm sea of synth effects for the rest of its 5min duration. This drone segues into 'Well Hang', which is a more tempered affair but the tension is ratchetted up a notch. Drums are forsaken for blocky percussion and the track is led by spooky layers of keyboard. 'Well Hang' serves beautifully to break up the insistence of the bass frequencies and brutal repetition of the epics either side of it and it's actually pretty damn melodic too.

The entire record burrows itself into the subconscious & fragments of music will pop into your head now & then & you'll realise they're from this album. Making a mostly instrumental album memorable is a mean feat but making bits actually stick in your head is astounding. Also something you'll notice here, which is glaring, is the absence of meandering guitar solos.

Usually when psychedelic rock is mentioned all there is to think of is endless fuzzy guitar leads. Yet Gnod & White Hills are all about the transcendental nature of repetition; wanky guitar solos would break up their mantra and you know what; I don't miss 'em at all.

Obviously, as you've probably gleaned from my descriptions, this record is an acquired taste. I seem to have gone a bit overboard on the positive superlatives here but Drop Out came just at the right time when I wanted something fresh and exciting and for me at least, Gnod and White Hills have delivered in spades. Because of the nature of the music it's not going to be a classic album or anything but it's a mighty fine effort that everyone should check out and is certainly one of my favourite discoveries in a long while. --- Amplified Man

9 komentarzy:

Ankh pisze...

@ @ @

,.,,., pisze...

a może by tak na Polskich blogach pisać po POLSKU co??

Ankh pisze...

To napisz - chętnie opublikujemy.

Conradino Beb pisze...

Po co pisac... wystarczy, ze wezmie ten tekst i przetlumaczy!

,.,,., pisze...

Ja mam pisać?a blog jest czyj?Będzie mój to będę pisał,ja się nie wstydzę tego że jestem Polakiem.

Conradino Beb pisze...

Powiem tyle, temu panu juz podziekujemy... jesli brakuje valium, chetnie doradze inne srodki uspokajajace :)

Anonimowy pisze...

po angielsku blog ma większą siłę rażenia, poszukiwacze muzyki z inych krajów moga np. odkryć polskie rarytasy, poza tym chyba przy poruszaniu się w internecie każdy w miare sprawnie sie angielskim posługuje, na pewno nie chodzi o wstydzenie się nardowości.

Ankh pisze...

Dziękujemy @Anonimowy. Taka jest też jedna z ważniejszych idei prowadzenia tego bloga :)))

Anonimowy pisze...

I bought this recently on CD, and though it's pretty good, it's not nearly as good as I'd hoped! Gnod and White Hills on their own albums are better than this. I don't get why this is one of the most popular Rocket Recordings titles and it keeps selling out, because they have WAY better and more original stuff on their roster. Enjoyable but derivative.

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