noisemakers Gazers compounds the vitriolic precision of Loma Prieta, the unsavory
stranglehold of Hot Snakes, and the downtrodden virulence of Subhumans. Nods to
several iterations of hardcore enlarge Gazers’ debut effort and amplify the
band’s immense talent. Compositional torsions of well-considered epilepsy make Gazers’ statement of measured frenzy —
but one that gathers its raucous impulse and set-shifts in meaningful ways, each
executed decision falling in line.
artlessly undercooked in the best of ways, thanks to its relentless homage (no
wave, post-hardcore) and dingy DIY production. Here low-quality … equals … high-quality;
Gazers’ sounds blessedly like the
first part of the second wave of punk. Production favors the vox (mid-tone,
abrasive, kind of rangy), but neglects the excellent bass (especially and
unfortunately its fantastic, Slint-like dalliance in “Doggoned”) — and is
misplaced on the drums (the kick is negligible; cymbals virtually bowl the
listener over). And, on a meta-level, micing of peripheral elements is often
poor — even when these dictate the bedrock of the song. Production deficits are
very evident in Gazers’ standouts, “Lifewreck”
and “Rotten to the Core.”
but slightly unconventional intros with the sort of DIY tone that’s immediately
respected; it saunters to suit up into a blast, but falls right back to the
reprise — stalling with brooding bass blurbs, powerful dissonance, an electronic
screech and two full seconds of silence. “Doggoned” is as dilapidated and down-to-business
as its title, in control enough to ramble, and features slanted guitars and
killer mathy sawings of guitar. Powered by amplifier whine, “Doggoned” evokes
swarms of locusts.
their most complex, seesawing between marked concision and glut exorbitance,
and iterating at least five different genre moods in six tortuous minutes: ‘Unwound’
post-hardcore of two-line verses and droning feedback under oblique,
articulated, detuned guitar; forthright, traditional riff-raff with insistent
percussion and a great high hat close; a classic Buzzcock moment, but heavier; oi!
with its duly syncopated ancillary guitar; and a post-rock silence broken only by two dustcloud emissions.
and primed, hitting like a typhoon (“Oh no, precious”). Its attentively
reckless breaks wryly leave beats obscured, a wafting electronica intrudes, and
oi! is paired against a morse-code stutter-step background. Uniquely noisy,
only “Rotten” has to wear its analog self down.
retaining pre-verse conventions instead of subverting them (completely). It
does, however feature vicious screams, keys, and a change-up by which triangle,
kick drum and bass form a heartbeat.
less ‘angry’ than indignantly, violently exasperated (“never, never look at
me”), less foul than soiled (“your breath / you smell / I hate your residue /
your breath / you smell / I hate YOU”), and operates with dynamic complexity.
Can’t wait for more!
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