Guerilla Toss - Eraser Stargazer

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2016-03-08

The new album has arrived from four-piece alt-rock avant garde-ians Guerrilla Toss. There should be no apologies in embracing this eight-track game plan, recorded in just six weeks during winter 2015 in New York. It spasmodically drop kicks into the public consciousness this month.

The noise-meisters signed to label DFA with this full length release. The revolutionary bite they possess snaps tighter this time round. The key to listening to Guerrilla Toss is that they bring to memory instantly certain forerunner mind-molders and sonic-shifting pioneers: Public Enemy and Rage Against the Machine for their politically charged preaching, as well as say Korn’s dark angst onslaught and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (albums three, four and five) for their quirky rage-funk presence.

On top of this, for vocal references, are Bow Wow Wow’s lead singer, Annabella Lwin, The Slits, and Molly Siegel of Ponytail. Their music is defined as new age rage, although avant-punk Funk could be equally valid

Firing out the stocks on Eraser Stargazer is ‘Multibeast TV’ which slumps along with a menacing ascending bass groove coupled with Pete’s pounding drums with Kassie’s distorted megaphone, spitting food marketing propaganda lines;  “Chocolate, Cinnamon, Sugar, eat it, quit while you’re ahead/when are you gonna get it next/Desire, try it, go on and buy it!.” The Jazzy bass chords accompanied by a rapid drum groove on ‘Diamond Girls’ mixed in with building overdriven guitars, plus random keyboard effects are quite terror inducing even without the yelping over the top. The groove by Pete’s drums ‘Grass Shack’ keeps the momentum going whilst infecting your ears with a sparse Parliament/Led Zeppelin groove (Check out Music For Your Earhole and The Crunge), then turns into abstract 80’s jazz-rock fusion gone loopy.

Beginning with a sci-fi reggaeton groove, some slinky keys riffs slither over a bass-wah, there are some Infectious bars spat from Kassie on ‘Colour Picture’, though frankly speaking it could have easily been level background music from a beat-em up title on a 90’s games console. Frantic Hi-Hat with discordant reverb guitar, then mutating into a swing-stomping funk groove, similar to The Rapture meets The Beastie Boys on ‘Eraser Stargazer Forever’ pokes into your psyche and quite rightly says “Me inside of, me inside of, me inside of You, Eraser or Stargazer Forever”. It is pure spontaneous funk abstractivism with a touch of Grime in the middle.

Sinister Synth chords and a swift hi-hat pattern leads onto stinging new wave guitar chords on ‘Perfume’ with extra-terrestrial coos and banshee screams from Kassie, it really menaces about in a chaotic drums-a-galloping warzone with no letting up for your ears. The sheer onslaught of ‘Big Brick’ blows you away with a feral veracity and it ends so soon, leaving you with little room to catch your breath, then blasts into last track ‘Doll Face On The Calico Highway’, funk intenseness again and a great catchy roots reggae style harmonised chorus.

Eraser Stargazer is a sobering album not suitable for the faint-hearted, cleverly cultivated and most certainly a much need eye-opener in current times, catapulting us out of our self-made musical comfort zones. Having seen videos of the band in a live setting with their contagious energy and evident ecstatic oneness with the crowd. They draw you in like a deadly cult, ready to pull in all devotees and new recruits, into a maelstrom of youthful self-abandon.

 

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