June 13, 2010

GAY BEAST - "Charm" 7inch single (Skin Graft)


   It seems that far too many bands these days are so far removed and/or obsessed with their wacky neon colored cover art,and overly contrived stage antics to even remember that they're playing music anymore.Thus pushing any relevance into the background.There is a thin line between music and performance art that can easily get blurred into one giant circus sideshow.But,sometimes a group of musicians is just so naturally damaged or removed that they create a near perfect balance of absurdity and brutal honesty.Such is the case with Minneapolis' nor-wavers,Gay Beast.They have been tagged as Minnesota's premier agit-prog queer band,and though it may sound a bit corny,is not far from the truth.With last year's bizarrely awesome Second Wave album(Skin Graft)solidifying their throne in weird music,they proudly give us an equally impressive single entitled Charm.It's hard to say where these boys are pulling their influences from on this one,which makes it an all the more interesting listen.It is more likely inspired by images of future dolphins floating in space and a strange hologram obsession than anything they might listen to,though Arab on Radar,Experimental Dental School,and Brainiac are just about as close to reference points as you can get here.But,even those weirdos don't really do this group justice.The flip-side track "We Keep Our Victims Ready" is a loose yet calculated number that creeps up your spine,crawls into your ear and tickles the brain with fear and wonder.It starts with a clicking electronic pulses,until carnival synth stabs take the reigns and move things in another direction.Things begin to pick up and thump away,but don't get too comfy,their scaly guitar runs have other plans for this.Note melodies weave in and around one another,creating some kind of musical puzzle with missing pieces.It's like the members are all kind of playing their own song,and then the missing piece finds it's way to the table..Soaring falsettos turn to drunken croons in an instant,and tuneful shouts tear through the jagged half-notes.Somehow this fits all too perfectly.It's got an obviously strong prog/jazz element to it,but not too many flashy technics or glorified guitar noodling.There are more than enough time changes in these songs,and it works like magic.Equal parts confusion,fear,confidence,and invention,Gay Beast is something special,and they deserve your attention NOW.Check out their first full length- Disrobics,too.


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