Gut Waxy feature members of the quite amazing Squeakeasy. ‘So Incredible’ is absolutely packed with ideas, in a similar way to albums like Of Montreal’s “Hissing Fauna Are You The Destroyer” and Animal Collective’s “Centipede Hz”. To describe what they do, though, is quite difficult.
Although there are several reference points here they are, basically, one of a kind.
There is so much going on yet it all fits together quite brilliantly. Less-skilled songwriters would have made a hash of this and it would be too difficult to listen to. However the songs here, despite being rammed full of noises and ideas, have a strong pop undercurrent. The album also flows quite seamlessly – bizarre yet somehow sounding very organic. There is great confidence displayed and quite how they approach their songwriting is a mystery.
It’s giddy, it’s fun, it’s complex, wildly creative, yet sounds spontaneous. Big Boss and Any% are baffling mixes of squelchy lofi electronica, hip hop and just plain weirdness. Full of samples and strange synth sounds. DATM is a frenetic Plus-Tech Squeezebox style pop song, all bleepy keyboards and eerie backing vocal sounds. It’s possibly the closest they come to sounding like previous band Squeakeasy.
The chorus to “Drunk at the market” may be our favourite chorus of the year! The band conjure a feeling of euphoria similar to that created by Dan Deacon in his early work. The sounds are computer game or cartoonish. Green Man Green Blob begins with a simple two note synth progression in the verses, shifting to a rising middle section with only piano for accompaniment. It eventually melds into the brilliant abstract Gut Gut Waxy, with its Deerhoof style matching keyboard and vocal line.
Daniel Howard’s vocal in the second half of the song sounds almost like Darren Hayman or Stuart Murdoch, set to an abstract chopped up vocal backing.
Cheap Carnival Night Zone is a little more subtle and minimalistic. Prone is Belle and Sebastian through an Ariel Pink filter. Saccharine melodies engulfed by lo-fi oddness.Playtime hits the Of Montreal button as does another highlight in Fanta Hunta.The Birthday Beat begins on an Aphex Twin style beat before climaxing abruptly and shifting to a Bojack Horseman theme tune rhythm, and a glorious vocal line.
SxX SxxxE is probably the most danceable track on here. It is carried along on a 4/4 beat but still skitters and shifts. Worthy is a conversational track. A rumination on life which “isn’t like Sonic”, set to a droney, washy backing. NPHS, from which the album title appears to originate is basically an electronic prog track (which you could almost argue this whole album is).
It’s like an abstract lo-fi ‘This is What She’s Like‘, written in several catchy parts, even introducing strings.
This should be the final track but, like the final Lord of the Rings movie, this album has three points at which it could finish.Credits is an instrumental that plays out like the end credit music of a particularly strange computer game and sounds akin to someone running through all the ringtones on their phone (if each one were a catchy jingle or a song from a different setting in Street Fighter 2).
Closer Secret Bonus Track is a Prince pastiche vocal over the top of a percussive synth line, that invariably breaks down and becomes more intricate each time, at times conjuring images of cartoon cats. It’s a brilliantly bizarre ending.Just as with Squeakeasy before them, it’s great to hear a band that seemingly has no inhibitions in their songwriting.
They do things that other indie bands would be too self-conscious to attempt (eg the Prince-style singing and rapping), and pull it off in their own unique way. This is bonkers and we love it!
We are also very excited to have Gut Waxy playing at our mini festival in January to see how this all comes together in a live setting!
You may enjoy this if you like: Of Montreal, Deerhoof, Dan Deacon, Plus-Tech Squeezebox, Bearsuit, Ariel Pink