Noise is one of those musical genres that are extremely hit or miss. Boston based band, Guerilla Toss, believes heavily in their music though, and has been playing for the past few years –creating a slew of interesting tunes and playing some of the wildest shows. The band’s latest album is called Gay Disco and puts a focus on no-wave and new-wave music. Their hectic style mixed with mesmerizing melodies creates a pretty unforgettable experience.
“Woah…” was the first word out of my mouth the moment I hit the play button. Guerilla Toss is relentless. Gay Disco starts out with a track called, “Trash Bed,” which is instantly impressive. The song is relatively tame compared to other tracks, but it’s still wild enough that it will tear your world apart. Heavy bass notes create this horribly nasty atmosphere and Kassie Carlson (the band’s main vocalist) let’s out this insane sing/shout/screech. It’s a really unnerving experience. There’s a lot of texture, as each instrument seemingly competes for the spotlight while simultaneously supporting one another. It’s like the freak show of a circus –there’s just so much going on yet the finished product is incredible.
As a noise-rock band, Guerilla Toss has a lot to overcome. It’s an odd genre and if you’re not good, well, you’ll end up sounding terrible. Guerilla Toss deserves some respect as one of the better noise-rock bands for sure. The band just has this ability to set the mood. It’s difficult to commend a band like this for their incredible use of this or that kind of composition, but, the atmosphere that Gay Disco comes with is some serious merit on it’s own. For instance, “Club Kids,” leaves the listener with this really uneasy ambiance –imagine yourself locked up in an old house, paint peeling off the walls, and a serial killer is making you breakfast. It sounds kind of like that, but, at the same time, there’s a more inviting aspect to it. About half way through the song, you find yourself grow comfortable with the situation, and as the bass sounds off with a groovy little tune, you want to dance. The song continues to seemingly speed up like some sort of horror movie chase, and the end result is indescribable.
Coming from a bit more of a critical side, it would’ve been nice to hear more dynamics being implemented. Gay Disco is seemingly set to one, flat volume for the entire album, and without that bit of variation, it gets a bit boring. Even quieting down with certain instruments to add more emphasis here or there might be cool –the album just gets stale. Even the brutal, incoherent vocals start to feel predictable. Guerilla Toss has a ton to offer, but not enough to really put them on the same level as other noise-rock bands like Melt-Banana or Midori.
In conclusion, not too shabby. Guerilla Toss is a wild, dark, nightmarish noise-rock band. Their drum beats are near tribal, their bass melodies hypnotic, and vocals plain terrifying sometimes. Gay Disco may be one of the best(if not one of the few) recent noise albums to be released. Admittedly, this really isn’t for everyone but if you have any interest in the genre, this is a great place to start. From start to finish, Gay Disco, will keep you absolutely amazed.