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Gabagool: 2016

Hurtling out of Bowling Green, KY come Gabagool, another in what seems a torrent of near one man operations that somehow feel, for all intents and purposes, very band-like. As you’ll gather from the name (if you don’t know what it means, give it a search and wash your hands afterwards) we’re in the midst of something sticky here, for 2016 adheres to the mind like a sickening goo that slowly alters your whole psyche as you succumb to its will. As far as references go, well, Shelby Neil Smith - for he is both the Gaba and the gool - has maybe shaken Mr Bungle by the hand and arguably paid the Modest Mouse a few compliments along the way.

At times as insidious and subtle as a snarling, sneering assassin, and at others as subtle as being thrown in the air by the lead elephant in a stampeding horde, where the rest of the pack then run over you, “Stars And Screams” ain’t taking no prisoners and yet there’s still nuance aplenty and crannies that have nooks and niches and maybe even some hidden passageways within. Vocally, as “Subterranean Commerce” likes to prove, SNS wants to howl like a banshee, but all the while caress you with the moisture from his claustrophobic breath. It feels oh so right and utterly wrong and when combined with stabs of melody and the - shhh don’t tell anyone they’re here, but they are - hooks, it’s all rather heady.

If anything the weakness in this attack is that there isn’t any weakness in this attack. At times 2016 can hit like a real barrage of idea and form, the thin line between devil may care and minutely considered just about kept in check, but that doesn’t make this an easy ride. On first impression you might think that this album is an exercise in ‘I can, so I will’ and yet, if you want to stab your spade right into the Gabagool heart you’ll discover that, in all honesty, little could be further from the truth. 2016 isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Strap in and trust it to take you to exactly where you wanted to be, even if you have no idea where that actually is.

Track Listing
1. Happy New Year
2. Stars And Screams
3. 2016
4. Alpha Pig
5. Subterranean Commerce
6. A Fine snack
7. Slow Driver/Meat Grinder/Scourge
8. Everything Is Fleeting
9. 2019

Added: April 16th 2021
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Gabagool on bandcamp
Hits: 320
Language: english

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