We were privileged and honoured to be sent this album ahead of its release on 7th of October on Rocket Recordings. We’ve been kneeling for the MASTER for over four weeks now. Here’s our gushings…
Moments of utter jaw-dropping majesty abound on this album. Such instances of breath-taking scale come early on – around four and half minutes into opening track ‘Reaper’ to be almost precise. And from there, the expansive-cum-cosmic is heralded midway through the brilliant ‘Black Strategy’ or again in the swirling phantasms of ‘Siren Spectre’.
From such a description you might think this is an album all about ascension and transcendence, especially given the Christ like figure that centres the artwork: with all-too-human innards on show, the heavenwards body takes leave of the earthly and the finite. Yet repeatedly this album has a claustrophobia bounded by the skin and the labyrinthine city that is firmly (under)grounded and bound to the earth: the visceral gonzoid noise-filth of ‘All Human Is Error’ being one example of this, or the paranoic poetry of ‘Put Me On Your Shoulders So I Can See The Rats’ being another. Master is composed as much by bodily discharge as heavenly effluvia.
The intriguing and beautifully schizoid nature of Master is again made evident on ‘Pleiades Underground/ Inexorable Master’. Seemingly a travelogue through the underworld and vast caverns of belittling grandeur, all sense of serene drifting and tranquil magnificence is disrupted and humiliated before a hellish vision given shape by a bastard-Beelzebub colossal riff. In the worlds of Teeth of the Sea, everything that seems perfected and at peace is actually diseased and conflicted.
And then there’s final track ‘Responder’. Pensive throbs, cardiogrammatic twitches, skin scorching static and abbreviated riffs meet and mingle with guitar melodies taking flight, the horns of avenging Angelic hordes and a purposive pomp-stomp that hints at a coming redemption. Perhaps here we will see the resolution and synthesis of the beautiful contradictions that shape Master? Perhaps this atonement “will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (1 Corinthians 15:52)?
Fat fucking chance! Teeth of the Sea are far too bloody canny to bring about a cosy synthesis and they’re far too shrewd to deliver redemption. And, of course, therein lies Teeth of the Sea’s magnificence and power.
This is an album simultaneously transcendental and primeval in its intent, scope and achievements. This is Teeth of the Sea’s masterpiece.
You can pre-order Master here.
Here’s ‘Reaper’ live at this year’s Roadburn festival:
And a bloody scary preview vid:
And ‘Black Strategy’ live at Café OTO in March 2013:
So what’s the point in reviewing an album that’s been released for ages and has lauded critical praise from some of the best-taste blogs and writers out there? Well, it’s because we love it so much that we still feel the need to shower it with more superlatives and because we don’t really (or often) give a monkey’s scrotum that we’re late and not first to review (if the latter ever happens here it’s due to sheer luck rather than intention, but we’ve stated this before).
What makes us keep coming back to Goat’s World Music again and again is, in part, due to its nigh on perfect mix of mystery and pop, recognizable flow and esoteric depth. Simply put, it just warrants further investigation with every listen. It’s a beguiling heady brew of influences and antecedents filtered through a fug of psychedelic and funked miasma that reaffirms its appeal again and again.
With wah-wahs screaming and bongos bashing World Music is a seething singular global vision shot through with Arabic lilts, West Coast fractals, folkish interludes and Disco-funk dynamics. Amounting to a transnational psyche agenda for the weird underground, it hybridizes the global peculiar without ever losing its (third) eye and (second) sight on the here and now. With each outing it gives out more and more sweaty abandon and joy.
We bloody love it and one of us was lucky to see them live. JKneale writes:
Goat at the Lexington – appearing as the exotic filling in a Gnod/Teeth Of The Sea psyche sandwich – felt not so much like an event and more like a happening. They have a perfect grasp of stagecraft, so that when they appeared out of the darkness – all but the bongo player wearing masks and extraordinary outfits – it didn’t feel like a daft stunt. The singer-dancers whirled around on the tiny stage while the man on the bongos stared fixedly into the crowd; the other musicians shifted from genre to genre with supernatural facility. The place was packed, the usual faces complemented by non-scene types come to see what the fuss was about. People danced, as I’d hoped they would, and there were delighted grins everywhere you looked. Madchester with extra magick.
A gig to remember, a sublime mix of the perfectly pop and the deeply strange – come back soon, Goat.
Buy World Music here.
‘Run To Your Mama (Pinkunoizu Remix)’:
‘Goatlord Live’ (very flashing images contained herein):
‘Let It Bleed’:
Gnod’s 2010 collaboration with White Hills (Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II) was and remains a brilliant voyage through space rock, psyche and krautcore. However, with INGNODWETRUST, Gnod have delivered an album that deviates from these well trodden paths into something utterly enthralling and extraordinary.
Consisting of only two tracks, clocking in at 20:04 and 13:14 and taking up one side of this vinyl only release each, you might think you’re being short-changed, but how wrong you’d be. Side A, ‘Tony’s First Communion’, presents a mesmerising throb of bass and drums, swirling guitars and incantations that can only be a soundtrack of cathartic resistance to memories of the ritual indicated by its title.
Yet it’s on Side B’s ‘Vatican’ where Gnod have really delivered something very special: a heretical thomp of distorted drums and eschatological noise that shifts six minutes in – after a breakdown of demonic voices and hellish organs – to the sound of all that is apocalyptic. I’ve been living with this track for a few weeks now and it’s still as disturbing a listen as when I first encountered it. The sound of The Tribulation and no mistake.
Get overcome by the power of our Lord Gnod Almighty here.
Vatican (not uploaded by the band so of dubious legitimacy I suppose):