IT CHARGES at you on wiry guitar and rumbling tom-toms, a shadowy simmer. We’re in a lecture theatre, with vocalist and keyboard player Nadia Garafalo demure in a sweater: our college lecturer on hand to guide us through the lyric video for “Projector”, the latest slice of portent-filled post-punk from Chicago’s Ganser.
It serves notice of their vivid new LP, Just Look at That Sky, which is out this Friday via Felte Records.
Those guitars gnash and weave, the drumming pounds a dark siren call; you’d swear the ghost of Martin Hannett was beyond the mixing desk, coaxing them to a new, stainless-steel bleakness. The vocals; they’re barely restrained, pitched at that kind of level of inner fury which kinda calmly spits rather than shrieks.
And all the while Nadia, pearly smile, hands gesturing charismatically, leads us calmly through the disasters we are facing. How sweet she is; how toxic, her message.
The disconnection between her smiling delivery and the chill of her message ties in with the band’s name, taken from a disassociative disorder indicated by nonsensical answers to questions. Nadia details further, with particular reference to “Projector”: “It’s what happens when someone becomes so far removed from general society that their thoughts become a Dunning-Kruger Effect echo chamber of pseudo-wisdom and self-affirmations.
“Connection and perspective gets lost, but that echo becomes louder and often public.
“We shot this the day after SXSW was cancelled. We didn’t know what was coming, but we knew it wasn’t going to be good.”
And the album promises no let-up into their burrowing into the chaos and angst of what it means to be a human getting by right now. The lyrics tackle inner monologues of confusion, information anxiety; even, on closing track “Bags for Life,” how online discourse might tackle a front-row seat for the end of the world.
They’ve shared a live arena stage with snarling and dark greats such as Oh Sees, Daughter and Viagra Boys. I reckon they really bring it, live.
Let’s hope the gig circuit returns soon; for now we have a stark and cautionary nine songs to guide us. It may not be comfortable; it may be entirely necessary.
Ganser’s Just Look At That Sky will be released by Felte Records this Friday, July 31st on digital, CD and vinyl; tee-short bundles are also available. Order your copy here.