- by Ian Fraser Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-01 Label: Rocket Recordings
Currently comprised of their four core members, Paddy Shine, Chris Haslam, Marlene Ribeiro and Alex Macarte, Gnod have jettisoned the avant-jazz, dub-industrial soundscapes of 2015’s Infinity Machines and replaced them with a short, balefully bleak and often brutal statement on 'no future'. Call me a miserable so-and-so (Ian can’t hear you, boys and girls) but this is the Gnod I love (the rest of the time I merely like them a lot).
There is nothing this year that is likely to approach the relentless intensity of 'Sodom and Gomorrah', an 18-minute test of endurance and sanity with everything from power chords, forge-of-Vulcan drum hits, and Gregorian chanting to anguished screaming and…well, that’s enough surely. The rest is, by comparison, pretty muted but not by any other benchmark or indeed stretch of the imagination. Following a deceptively jazz-lite intro which might lull you into thinking they might well be reprising Infinity Machines, “Mirrors” assails the senses with acrimonious shards of noise so that by the mid-point you find yourself mouthing that Johnny Nice Painter character from the Fast Show’s catchphrase – Black! Black!! Black!!! . Not nasty enough for you? Well “Learn To Forgive” both slows it down and ramps it up until…you…get…the…point. Wailing sirens and guitars over grinding sludge metal to go, please mate. Oh and stick a load of despairing vocal on that as well will you? Champion.
Gnod are unique, of course. However there are some reference points if you need them - Doom metal, early Swans, Gallon Drunk, Gang of Four and label mates Hey Colossus perhaps unwittingly all let their shadows fall over proceedings. All good we’re sure you’ll agree. Man I do hope I get to see this lot sometime soon. Just as long as they haven’t jack-knifed direction yet again in the meantime and end up sitting in their dressing room playing comb and paper covers of Coldplay standards while we stand and watch an old interlude film of a potter’s wheel. Knowing my luck… Anyway, for now, welcome to the Hate Ashbury trauma clinic. We know you’ll like it here.
Great review. Top band