Guerilla Toss — What Would the Odd Do? EP (Oct. 18, 2019)
∇ Skupina, která se neustále vyvíjí a žije, dýchá, nyní představuje album „Twisted Crystal“. Užijte si stejnou surrealistickou, kinetickou i léčivou energii živého bandu Guerilla Toss, dnes ve vašem vlastním domě. Posluchač občas putuje bludištěmi závratných, střídavě pulzujících časových podpisů, ale silnice se vždy odrazí, setkají se a magicky zaskočí. Tyto meditativní groovy, živé i ve studiu, se stala podpisem pro band Guerilla Toss, zhluboka čerpající vlivy ze 70. let krautrocku i experimentálního rocku... jakými byli Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads, Brian Eno, Neu !, Cluster, Todd Rundgren a La Düsseldorf.
∇ Guerilla Toss returns to NNA Tapes with a brand new EP, ‘What Would The Odd Do?’, an exploration into new territories and an expansion on their recipe for twisted, addictive rock & roll mania: fried funk, damaged dance, and cosmic cacophony. Fans of 70’s prog and rock greats like King Crimson and Todd Rundgren as well as modern torchbearers like Sheer Mag and Deerhoof will be joyfully united by GT’s uniquely familiar world of wonder and excitement.
∇ For Kassie Carlson — singer, songwriter, and bandleader of Guerilla Toss — What Would The Odd Do? is unarguably the group’s most personal release in their impressive history as a music~making collective. After open~heart surgery in 2017 to remove a dangerous blood clot caused by a severe opiate addiction, Carlson has found a new joy in life. She has since cleaned up for good, moved to Upstate New York with her partner and Guerilla Toss drummer, Peter Negroponte, and has never felt more inspired.
∇ Kassie Carlson is a true poet of punk, the voice of an unheard generation, the leader of The Odd. Few people have been through what she has, and making it out alive is just the beginning. With her band of musical misfits, Guerilla Toss is an unstoppable force of nature. Like all great and challenging art, their message is abstract, yet decipherable. And once the listener cracks the code, they’ll be immersed in a uniquely familiar world of wonder and excitement. What will unite us more than to celebrate the absurd and question what we’ve been told is obvious? Let GT be just one of the many songs among the soundtrack of existential infinity and divine recovery.
∇ A portion of the proceeds from the album will go to the Harlem Harm Reduction Clinic, in an attempt to further our reach in the opiate crisis battle.
Location: Boston, MA ~ New York, New York
Recording Location: Outlier Inn, Woodridge, NY
Genres: jazz, Rock, Art Rock, Indie, Electronic Rock, Synth Pop, Funk, Noise Rock,
Album release: October 18, 2019
Record Label: Nna Tapes
1. What Would The Odd Do? 2:25
2. Plants 5:18
3. Future Doesn’t Know 4:16
4. Moth Like Me 3:02
5. Land Where Money’s Nightmare Lives 4:26
∇ Kassie Carlson, Arian Shafiee, Samuel Lisabeth, Peter Negroponte, Stephen Cooper, William Dantzler, and Watley
∇ All lyrics/music written and arranged by Kassie Carlson/GT
∇ MaZmiTh — drum machine, programming, synthesizers, sound design, additional product on on “Plants”
∇ Josh Druckman — backing vocals on “What Would The Odd Do?”
∇ Nick Forte — Sound Design on “Land Where Money’s Nightmare Lives”
∇ Tracked and mixed at The Outlier Inn by Josh Druckman, Summer 2019
∇ Assistant engineers — Joseph “Pinto Beans” Maltese and Joe Hensey
∇ Produced by GT, Josh Druckman & Watley
∇ Mastered by Fred Kevorkian at Kevorkian Mastering, NY
∇ Artwork by Yu Maeda
∇ Layout by Matt Mayer
By Victoria Wasylak on October 18, 2019
✹ Guerilla Toss know that we need to make some major adjustments to the way society discusses drug addiction.
✹ Snuggling up to the highly personal topic and rehashing some equally visceral trauma, the Massachusetts~turned~New York avant~garde group’s new EP What Would The Odd Do?, out today (October 18), masks tough discussions about dependence and healing with sharp, synth~studded psychedelica.
✹ Lead singer Kassie Carlson in particular unleashes her own narrative throughout the new release, recalling her open heart surgery from two years ago. The procedure was successful — doctors were able to remove a blood clot caused by Carlson’s former opiate addiction — and since recovering, she’s become comfortable enough to plant her experiences in the modern disco spunk of What Would The Odd Do?
✹ “Only recently have I really begun to open up about everything that’s happened to me in the last few years,” shares Carlson. “These songs mean a lot to me; anyone in recovery knows that going through an opiate addiction and beating it is a big deal. I am living proof that it can happen to anyone. I’ve always written abstract lyrics that have eluded to my personal struggles, but this time I try to provide context to my metaphors and allegories.”
✹ Carlson’s openness goes beyond mere transparency and many songwriters’ model of brutal honesty for musicianship, however; each brush with her past extends an arm to communities who are often affected by addiction, but largely overlooked in the conversation surrounding substance abuse.
✹ She adds: “In this way, I hope to help other people who are struggling, and anything else that is a result of a corroded society that has left so many people in the dust — especially women. Drugs are such a dude~associated thing, which has made it even harder for me to talk about. I felt gross, other~ed, and alone. I didn’t think anyone would be able to understand or relate. Experiencing severe trauma as a child creates different parameters for normalcy, and inclusion. Statistically, women are more likely to hide addiction and keep feelings inside, making it potentially much more festering and toxic. Drugs affect people of all backgrounds, regardless of race, class, or gender. Addiction hits us all, and it hits hard.”
✹ Check out the EP below, and for folks purchasing a physical copy of the EP, Guerilla Toss will donate some of the proceeds from What Would The Odd Do? to the Harlem Harm Reduction Clinic in an “attempt to further our reach in the opiate crisis battle.”
∇ “Future Doesn’t Know” is the best track on Guerilla Toss’s uniformly good new EP, What Would the Odd Do? The song starts with a few seconds of dissonant electronic clatter, which is quickly obliterated by a big, crunching riff from guitarist Arian Shafiee. That combination of sounds recalls earlier Guerilla Toss records, like Smack the Brick or the excellent Gay Disco, made when the band was still driven by a chaotic, avant~noise sensibility. But this is the newer, dancier Guerilla Toss, and the riff soon finds itself dueling with Sam Lisabeth’s brightly glistening synths and Kassie Carlson’s distinctive, hiccupping vocals. The riff drags the song in one direction; Lisabeth and Carlson want to follow a different path. Rhythmically and texturally, it should be incoherent, but Peter Negroponte’s percussive dexterity finds the common groove. Carlson sings, “Where am I, and what is next / Modern life under a hex / Solution to the question / Staring blank, without a guess / Just like me, it is a mess / Answer isn’t crystal.”
∇ The reference to “crystal” is complicated. Things in the future are rarely crystal clear. Future doesn’t know. But the lyric might also include an embedded shout~out to Guerilla Toss’s past. The band’s previous LP Twisted Crystal shared a strongly druggy vibe with 2017’s GT Ultra, a record that referenced the MK Ultra program and featured a big blotter sheet of acid as its cover art. Songs like “Dose Rate” and “Come Up with Me” celebrated getting ever higher, ever wilder. But those intensities can do some serious damage. Carlson, who’s the band’s principal lyricist, has recently been very public about her struggle with drug addiction, and some attendant frightening experiences with mortality. Not surprisingly, What Would the Odd Do? seems a lot less sanguine about the extremities of drug experience: “Moth Like Me” is full of Carlson’s whacky, loony metaphors, but it’s also pretty nakedly about addiction’s complex, self~destructive desires.
∇ It’s also not surprising that Carlson’s new~found gravity in lyrical themes is accompanied by an even shinier, vivid and upbeat sound. She feels good, the band feels good. The music shows it. “Plants” is the sort of song that you can totally see David Byrne jogging in place to, blissed out grin on his face, in irresistible motion. The song concerns a girl who prefers the company of greeny trees and ivy vines to her fellow human beings. It’s an anxious, alienated image, but it also speaks to a deeper sense of connectedness, to Earth and to life. That seems to capture the current set of resonances that Guerilla Toss are grooving to. Grounded and tuned in to the high stakes of being alive, but as a result, more hopeful and full of life. What Would the Odd Do? Don’t know for sure, but making good, energetic, alive music is clearly part of the plan.