Give up your soft core admiration for the likes of Iron and Wine, your lukewarm sentiment for all groups stadium touring this summer, and forget the warm and fuzzies all those bad top forty love songs give you for ten minutes and follow me down a dark path on your conversion to Gaytheism.
Remember the Halycon days when the music was all that really mattered? This was years before that Ivy League acceptance letter arrived, back when anarchy vs. statism was still an important argument, when your wardrobe didn’t reek of corporate greed and class wars and the scene was still the most important thing going on in your suburb?
Over the span of twelve tracks on their latest release, Hold Me…But Not So Tight, Gaytheist has locked in that feeling. I truthfully didn’t think music like this was even possible anymore. There was a time when punk and metal were near interchangeable. Goths bummed smokes to crusties outside anonymous clubs and anarchists chatted whimsical about the great societal breakdown of their wet dreams to leather-clad fetishist in vampire makeup. For instance, what would you call early Misfits? They could go either way. But as with all things, the genres became delineated with time, verging apart over the years, punk becoming more juvenile and less politically inclined while metal became the genre of choice for kids obsessed with inflated dramatics and dark narcissism. What was lost in all the progression you ask? Well foremost amongst all: the fun in being rock ‘n’ roll’s social outcasts.
Gaytheist hasn’t forgotten this. And while you might be immediately attracted to the name, you won’t be let down by the tunes. “Starring in ‘The Idiot’,” the thirty-second first track comes on like a kick in the teeth, and before you even have time to spit the blood out, Gaytheist has its hands around your throat. “The Restoration” mixes genres, transitioning seamlessly from hot metal licks to power chord choruses, while the vocal delivery wobbles between indignation and angst, proving Gaythiest can supply the best of both worlds.
With tracks rarely running longer than two minutes, the album plays out like a ninja onslaught with twelve individual attacks lined up one after another. The effect of the album as a whole leaves the audience initially delirious, wondering what the hell they’ve just gone through, while further listens have an uncanny entrancing ability. The melodies, not to mention rhythms, are stacked so thick in such a short amount of time it can be literally exhausting to navigate, and then to add lyrical content into the mix it seems Gaytheist is daring you to keep up with them. Good luck!