Listen to The Goslings, Damn You

I’m pissed off, you see. Why am I pissed? Well, it’s because The Goslings continue to be quite possibly the most underrated band out there right now. If you were one of the two other people aside from myself that bought Grandeur of Hair in 2006, then you are privileged to know that you own the very best album to be released in that year. Despite receiving a “eureka!” from Tiny Mix Tapes for Grandeur (albeit months after it was already out), the husband-wife duo of Max and Leslie Soren still tend to be largely overlooked. This displeases me.

Well, The Goslings have a new album out, and goddammit I’m going to blog my little heart out about it. Occasion is the follow-up to Granduer of Hair, and sees The Goslings continuing to hone their unmercifully blunt cacophony of beauty and devastation. Very similar to Grandeur in overall feel, Occasion features tons of heavily distorted and suffocatingly dense guitar sludge, mortar fire percussion, and those sweetly melodic vocals. This isn’t wimpy “dream doom” or “doomgaze” like Justin Broadrick peddles, this is furious, tightly compressed noise that would love nothing more than to spontaneously combust your speakers and burn your house to the ground.

Listening to Occasion is like having your skull slowly crushed with a vice grip, while a hundred sawblades cut at sheet metal and a beautiful woman sings lullabies to you just before your head pops like zits on the face of an adolescent. That sounds gruesome, but it accurately describes The Gosling’s penchant for seamlessly melding tenacity with emotional rawness.

“Vitium” is a nasty march of death that would make Michael Gira and Jarboe cower in fear. Disconsolate riffs rain down without respite, crashing to the ground with a high gravity force while Leslie Soren sings with great desperation to the satellites orbiting Earth. Much like the work of Gira and Jarboe, there is no tension release to be found here.

The Goslings rarely lift their weight from the listener’s chest on Occasion. “Motorcade” is a classic Goslings doom epic. An aural assault so thick that you might choke while listening to it. This track begins its life as ugly and corrosive as anything we’ve heard from the band, but brilliant black wings eventually sprout from the back of the mysterious, lumbering juggernaut, taking flight with an extended passage of uplifting guitar before dissolving into a beautiful showcase for Leslie’s vocals.

This is one of the most interesting bands making music at the moment. Many bands out there right now like to marry sludge/noise/shoegaze to make pretty little indie tunes for soppy vaginas that like to say they listen to noise, when in reality they would be butt hurt if they ever tried to listen to a Whitehouse or Brighter Death Now record. The Goslings marry these influences with authority. They do not fuck around. Occasion is another blissfully ugly chapter that easily stands up to their other works. Buy it.

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~ by theoberlander on February 26, 2008.

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