Worlds collide - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #102

Looks like we’re back again. Anubis god-damn shit Gnod drop another record and I feel compelled to pen another little ditty about how these cats are a one-stop shop for every reason that even in the violent surge of characterless humourless sexless fauxpop seemingly made from scum skimmed from the top level of an alternate dimension where Marty McFly never invented rock and roll, unqualified supersadistic mung worship is still worth defending. Discerning heads can point to a line of Gnod masterstrokes, and their crowning Chaudelande two-part achievement and use it as evidence of the sustaining power of rock and roll to transport us and the fundamental wrongheadedness of goons and geeks and greedheads and sycophants who seek to suck the soul out of music along with all the money. Gnod are a reason to carry on, a blueprint for how potent music can be. Alas the atmosphere in this wretched piss-stained nation is so utterly cloying and unaccepting of genius that they’ve gotta to the much more chilled climes of Europe to pedal their live sound, a source of extreme frustration to cats such as myself really rather rooted to Scotland. Nevertheless their records still slither north of the border from time to time, black-bagged in a van and exchanged at the Checkpoint Charlie border station at midnight. This time it’s a split, a format I’ve never been that square with, a Rocket Recordings Collision (which as a name for a series of splits, I like, because it pretty much sums up what I don’t like about them, two caterwauling road-warrior Peterbilts coming together in a grotesque twisted fusion of metal that doesn’t ever really square). So another Rocket Recordings record has made it into this blog, and another Gnod record has made it into this blog. Why? Well nobody else does it quite as well as those guys. My Goat World Music album is in the post also, and it’s the only thing on the horizon like the orange ball of the sun which threatens to topple that Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell record from the top-of-the-year list.

Gnod - defying and defining
Photo - Greg Neate
Well wheel out the Orange amps and get hold of any naturally occurring psilocybin you can find, lay back, relax and fall back into the Gnod trip. Yup, any concerns laid to rest, it’s another entheogen from a buncha guys who seem to do nothing but. There seems little other way to do this than to review the two sides sequentially in order, so it’s Gnod first. That’s the problem I have, a split means you get half a record by each band, and while I consider a record a single hard rockin’ entity, a record of separate songs by different artists is just troublesome. And my iTunes throws a big fit and says each side is a separate album, but what do you expect from such massive cunts? So Gnod are ultimately back, strip off yer shirt and dance to the GNODISKO in thanks, another spinning disk means another twenty minutes of pseudo-religious drivel that’s well on its way to compiling that Gnod audio holy book so we can put it all together. I’ve got a fraction of their discography, and still I’ve got tons. This new track, poetically dubbed Shitting Through the Eye of a Needle In a Haystack is more electric, strobe-lit car-alarm Gnod. Everything from my original piece holds true, this is such righteous motherfuckery that I struggle to form anything semi-cogent about it; I can only rumble and bubble in dreary clichés and platitudes about how Gnod still provide the most convincing cure for what ails us. Like all their side cuts, this is hopelessly splintered, a fractured glass shard of a song that’s just part of their wider mirror on society, and the significance of which will only become fully apparent after studious study of their entire EP and split back catalogue. But it’s right on. Screaming, howling and electric phasers blast across the landscape and an electronic beat like a siren continues to howl throughout the duration. Like all Gnod records it just feels so righteous. Panzer tank commanders bark orders and sonic high explosive shells explode across the speakers as you are attacked from all sides by a pseudo-Krautrock dropped on its head as a baby to think it’s a northern English doom band too. It speaks to the werewolf in us. It’s the same as the stuff they’ve been doing up to this point, a kind of 21st century cracked psychedelia, party drugs have gone all wrong and we’re a slave to the grind, it’s not Alexander Shulgin, it’s Hamilton Morris.

Shit and Shine ready the cosmic fire.
On the flipside is Shit and Shine’s contribution to proceedings, where feedback noise flamethrowers cook yer already baked brain ‘til it’s crispy, turning yer skull into a blackened orb and all of your charred flesh crackles as you inevitably dance to the devils’ disco. It’s way more electronic, this is robot rock, but there’s still fuzzy stringed instruments phasing in and out of reality in the middle of the mix, as well as all that percussive electric wailing that’ll crawl in your head and look out of your eyes. Prison guards’ voices rattle out of tinny speakers, hopelessly distorted to the point of being unintelligible, warped, sick, twisted (good people) while the gasoline smell from the Orange flamethrowers continues to rise, that smell, that gasoline smell, the whole hill! It is my soundtrack. Gnod, Shit and Shine, and the upcoming Goat album which will receive rapturous praise come Friday if I can get my shit together. This is the beat of my heart and the spirit of the sea and the song on the wind. I have dedicated my life to seeing it, hearing it, breathing it in, rubbing it all in the pores of my skin… because this is the only way of living. The rest is just television. Shit and Shine’s contribution to this Collision is truly transcendent. A song is something that walks by itself. Its poetry, carefully crafted curves and insane emotions are universal and unison. It is a special thing that so much music has come out this year that is transcendental, and I don’t need to remind you all of how close we come to chaos and undemocratised social cultural suicide every day with Costa fucking Coffee taking over our lives and our towns telling us what to do what to think when to breathe… But we can and we will rebel and we will prevail because we can point to an entire rogues’ gallery of artists working their best at the cultural plate with all manner of phased plasma noise makin’ machines to give the people what they need, not just spiritually, but on a Friday night when we need something to dance to.

Written under duress by Steven.

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