I have been anxiously awaiting the new Gang Gang Dance album since hearing their excellent EP from last year. I fell in love with Gang Gang Dance in 2005 when God's Money came out, but the EP RAWWAR totally blew me away last year. It was only 3 tracks but they seem to pack the greatness of a whole album into that little EP. I still listen to the second track whenever I get a chance. "Oxygen Demo Riddim" is just an instrumental track but it became one of my favorite songs of the year. Gang Gang Dance is now back with a new album called Saint Dymphna. This band has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. I have never really done any research on them and have never read a review of them or their albums. I know they live in New York, but that is pretty much where my knowledge of them begins and ends. I have no idea what they look like and I have no idea how others have described them. It makes them more interesting to me. The music just basically exists in my head and I have made my own little personal set of stories about them. I have not yet had the opportunity to see them live -- maybe that will clear up some of my questions about them. I do have a chance coming up soon. They are playing November 15th at the El Rey in Los Angeles. I really do know one thing about Gang Gang Dance: I love this new album and I love Gang Gang Dance. They don't really sound like anything I have ever heard before, yet the music somehow speaks to me. The songs are often intense sort of musical collages -- lots of instruments and sounds seem to interfere with each other but end up creating some beautiful music when all put together.
Their music could easily be described as experimental. The songs are a bit weird and different, but weird in the good and interesting way. I hear elements of new wave and shoegaze within the songs as well. They also remind me a bit of Blonde Redhead at times. They capture that intense sadness that Blonde Redhead also conveys in their music. "First Communion" is easily my favorite track on this new album, but it doesn't stop there. That song just gets me hooked on the album, although they didn't really need to hook me in with this album. I was already obsessed because of their last album. This album is just doing a fantastic job at meeting my expectations. I could not have imagined a better album for them to create. The shoegaze song of the album is "Vacuum." This song could have easily found a home on a My Bloody Valentine album. It is sort of a mixed up version of a shoegaze song. It guess it is Gang Gang Dance's version of shoegaze. They make everything sound better somehow. The song that follows sounds like something from some Warp album -- not just your typical use of electronics. "Inners Pace" floats into the next song "Afoot," which sounds like Patti Smith doing her spoken word. Track 10 is probably my second favorite song on the album. "House Jam" is Gang Gang Dance at its best. The song is almost accessible and as close as they will get to a pop song. It is their version of a Gwen Stefani or M.I.A. song. It is for sure catchy and I find myself humming it even if I don't know any of the words. The last song on the album is "Princes." The song features an MC from East London know as Tincy Stryder. Hip Hop seems to be the last genre that they wanted to explore on the album, but the song is still an obvious Gang Gang Dance song. It just happens to be their version of the genre. The album travels all over the place but it also somehow keeps a cohesive sound throughout. I am in love with Gang Gang Dance all over again.
also out today...
Everything/Everything by Simon Bookish
Missiles by The Dears
Skeletal Lamping by Of Montreal
Receivers by Parts & Labor
High Time by Pit Er Pat
X's On Your Eyes by Plus/Minus
Too Thirsty 4 Love by Quintron
Car Alarm by The Sea & Cake