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Guerilla Toss — Eraser Stargazer (March 4, 2016)

Guerilla Toss — Eraser Stargazer (March 4, 2016)

    Guerilla Toss — Eraser Stargazer (March 4, 2016)  Guerilla Toss — Eraser Stargazer (March 4, 2016)Location: New York, New York
Album release: March 4, 2016
Record Label: DFA
Duration:
Tracks:
1 Multibeast TV
2 Diamond Girls
3 Grass Shack
4 Colour Picture
5 Eraser Stargazer Forever
6 Perfume
7 Big Brick
8 Doll Face on the Calico Highway
Personnel:
≠  Kassie Carlson  —  vocals
≠  Arian Shafiee  —  guitar
≠  Ian Kovac, Jr.  —  synthesizer
≠  Simon Sheldon Hanes  —  bass, guitar
≠  Peter Negroponte  —  drums, triggers, electronics
Review
By Aaron Leitko; February 26, 2016;  Score: 6.9
♠   Guerilla Toss may project themselves as deeply weeded hippie–punks, but they are not slackers. In just the last three years, the group has checked a number of boxes on the avant–rock bucket list: Releases on Digitalis Limited, NNA Tapes, Feeding Tube, and a CD on composer John Zorn’s Tzadik label, where they appeared as part of the Spotlight Series, a sub–imprint meant to highlight young and emerging weirdo talent. That honor is well earned. In concert, the band is wild and disorienting — a kind of punk rock “Donkey Kong” soundtrack with synthesizers ping–ponging against screeching guitars, the rhythm section halting and then churning in dialog with singer Kassie Carlson’s animalistic yelps. They make brainy music that feels mmediate and visceral.
♠   Now signed to New York’s DFA, Guerilla Toss have simmered down a little. The band’s first full–length for the label, Eraser Stargazer, finds them less manic and more zoned–out, augmenting pulsing repetition with heaps of gurgling psychedelic jewelry and elastic basslines. In terms of DFA’s classic catalog, they skew closer to the gonzo tradition embodied by Black Dice than the streamlined dance–punk of the Rapture. ♠   The later favored minimalism and poise, embodying a fluid and streamlined rhythmic sensibility. Guerilla Toss' music is more like the burbling glop at the top of the Slurpee machine — viscous and messy. Think Chocolate Synthesizer–era Boredoms spliced with The Uplift Mofo Party Plan–era Red Hot Chili Peppers. No, don’t laugh. That’s not a takedown. On Eraser Stargazer, Guerilla Toss suggests funkiness without channeling the grody and ultra–masculine energy that seems forever sewn to punk–funk. Not exactly an easy thing to do.
♠   In a way, their closest contemporary kin might be Baltimore’s Dope Body — another band that has thrived on deconstructing ‘90s dude–rock into heady mulch. Though, Guerilla Toss’ alternative–era source material is not so much MTV as the jam band world. Which shouldn’t suggest that they are given to jamming. That kinship comes more through a lack of musical self–consciousness — the willingness to seek transcendence via improvisation and weirdo genre bending. On Eraser Stargazer, Guerilla Toss captures that crowd’s yin and yang — the blissed–out hippie vibe and also the druggy parking lot creep–out factor.
♠   But like the jam bands of yesteryear, Guerilla Toss’ on–stage appeal is not easily consumed through the thin reed of a SoundCloud single, a YouTube video, or even a LP. In concert, the band can survive on sheer intensity. But as a record, Eraser Stargazer is sometimes weirdly hookless and ponderous. There’s plenty of stoner fog, but not always much to grip. It is a forward move for the band, though. Where Guerilla Toss’ music was once driven by the push and pull between abrasive elements, Eraser Stargazer glides by in a dreamlike gonzo haze. Gentler, but no less strange. http://pitchfork.com/
Bandcamp: https://guerillatoss.bandcamp.com/album/eraser-stargazer
Website: http://guerillatoss.com/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Guerilla-Toss-294357483907927/
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Guerilla Toss — Eraser Stargazer (March 4, 2016)

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