Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Guntown on Whoa! Boat Records

Guntown is a three piece from San Francisco who Whoa! Boat approached to put out a single, two days later they had this prog punk 3 song EP that had to be pressed at 33 of course.

A-Side, "Chaos" ALRIGHT these guys are taking it back to Sparta, or Atombomb pocketknife, big solid complex punk sound with raspy yelling from Gutherie, seems appropriate Desaparecidos just announced their reunion tour this is a welcome sound that's honestly been a while since anything made me want to dig out that stuff again and relisten to One Armed Scissor. They're putting together those massive chord epic sounds with a real complex mathy element, this one keeps evolving, left and right, they can't stick with a line for too long, not that it's ever out of place, or breaking this full speed ahead... these pieces are seemless. A Hot Snakes energy, cleanly recorded, blasting "Chaos has it's place!" clearly not in the songwriting. They even make time for this proggy breakdown with long lines of ridiculous melody, in perfect sync...dropping right back into a heavy post punk. Vocally he's got that energy working for him not ever going super screamy, it's restrained with just the right amount of actual singing which I appreciate.

"Fuck the days" ultra distant gritty guitar makes way for the big entrance of slight wah distortion and that big riff melody which never comes off cocky, they have a clear chokehold on the changes and constantly push the great progression into something even better. It's around long enough to get completely on board and then they switch gears again. The liner notes say, recorded live, which makes sense for this manic tight energy, getting it all down feeding off each other in that room. It's perfectly captured then, keeping the way they normally play intact but getting all the nuance of every single element here. Nice.

B-Side, "Acid Baby" has a weird groovy '70s feel if you can believe it, deep, warm slap bass, some kind of jazz inspired percussion, and classy vocals on this one, I think I know what they're going for, this nice deceptively nice delivery of lyrics about bombs, sirens and dead city, sugar coat the fucked up reality. Even a santana style solo to boot...they slightly bring back that epic punk for a moment, but this real intellectual approach to this one might have gotten away from them just a little bit. Distorted distanced vocals in a breakdown tom section, the layers of vocals building back into that big head bobbing grove, it's a little crazy the places they end up cutting right through. Technically these guys are pretty incredible and seem to be able to draw from a lot of styles and influences towards ultimately ending in a super punk place.

Black vinyl with download card, foldover black and white sleeve and lyric insert, from Whoa! Boat.

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