Gum Takes Tooth - Arrow - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Gum Takes Tooth - Arrow

by Rob Taylor Rating:7 Release Date:2019-01-25
Gum Takes Tooth - Arrow
Gum Takes Tooth - Arrow

Gum Takes Tooth have two previous albums, the uncompromising Silent Cenotaph, and the kinder, modulated and buffeted violence of Mirrors Fold. Arrow continues the path towards a sound where velocity and energy are paramount. The industrial schism of circular drumming, pummeling bass and bothersome, even unpleasant frequencies is not easy to assimilate at first. Frankly, I couldn’t even listen through it the first two times. Like all dense musical pieces of any worth, however, aspects of the music which first evade you reveal themselves when you open your mind to the different possibilities.

Let me explain. Arrow is not really an album to listen to in the car. It commands a physical reaction. The last time I was in the gym, I selected the programme that had me running around San Francisco Bay, which is kind of stupid I know. What really annoyed me though was not the fact that I was indoors imagining I was outdoors, but the asymmetry between the pace I adopted and the one the machine adopted. There was little in the way of convergence.

Arrow made more sense to me one late evening when I was feeling unburdened by other thoughts and was more active. The UK duo, Jussi Brightmore and Thomas Fuglesang, do a lot of work in clubs where the ebb and flow of free energy during a live set suits the apparent spontaneity of their unfolding noisescape. In the studio, it is said that they are more prone to interpose quiet passages. On Arrow, tracks such as ‘Slowly Falling’ aren’t chartered relief in the context of difficult themes. They are nightmarish interruptions which perpetuate the disquiet. The slow tracks are as shattering as the grand histrionics of the more uptempo ones. ‘Borrowed Lies’ is the kind of track that will make you move, but in the wrong mood, the unrelenting bombast and didactic lyrical stream could actually make you sick.

The frigid and unsentimental tone of Arrow could be too much for some, but for those who are attuned to its febrile psychedelics and unerring rhythmic interactions, it’s an intoxicating ride.

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