Gnod have set the bar with this LP as to their views, how many more are strong enough to do so?
Gnod are a punk infused psych krautrock collective hailing from Salford, Greater Manchester. Having formed in 2006 they have become an institution in their own right and are essentially a collective with a rotating list of musicians who frequent art-hub Islington Mill.
With an impressive back catalogue under their belt they have garnered an increasing amount of attention to their cause, in particular of note are albums Ingnodwetrust (2011), Infinity Machines (2015) and Mirror (2016) as well as collaborative efforts, most notably Drop Out with White Hills II (2010).
The band now signed to Rocket Recordings, have previously released music on their own label Tesla Tapes which also encourages ‘Gnodheads’ past, present and feature as well as friends from all over the world to use the label as an outlet for musical meanderings.
Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine is a direct kick against the doom and disquiet of the current socio-political landscape. It represents a hitherto uncharted level of antagonism and adversarial force for the band and is a strong an artistic statement as you are like to come across in the public sphere. Paddy Shine from the band states that “on the surface it could almost seem like there’s no political art movement out there to oppose what’s happening, but there is – we know there is.”
The 5 track LP opens with ‘Bodies for Money’, a screeching guitar infested beat driven number with evocative lyrics and strong punk influences. The rhythm propels the track onwards and the calmer interlude mid-track only serves to emphasis the intensity of the song. ‘People’ begins simply, with looped noises, isolated guitar strumming and singular beats. It progresses through repetition with elements coming in and out of consciousness, chanting and most notably an impossibly catchy guitar riff. Spoken word segments add weight as the guitar, bass and drums play off one another. An incredibly powerful track that warrants several plays.
‘Paper Error’ is a real kick and incorporates heavy dual guitars which swirl and scintillate. Again, a fierce intensity prevails and it is clear that the messages in these tracks are important to the band. ‘Real Man’ lessens the anti, proving more vocally harmonic yet containing no less clout. The lyrics are interesting and provide insight into how Gnod work on a level that can’t be disputed. If you want to know who this band are, look no further.
‘Stick in the Wheel’ is a 12 minute plus number to end the offering, and offers lyrics such as “I wanna be a stick in the wheel, don’t wanna be a cog in the machine”; a stance that will resonate with many during these uncertain times. The noise instrumental ending showcases their experimental side to magnificent effect. Musically the album flows throughout, working as a whole rather than random tracks thrown together in order to produce an album.
Just Say No sounds like a record only Gnod could produce; fiercely independent with blatant political overtones, yet musically accessible and enthralling. Gnod have set the bar with this LP as to their views, how many more are strong enough to do so?