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Ganser — Just Look at That Sky
(Bandcamp Falte, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2020-06-04

Just Look at That Sky Cover art

This Windy City four-piece has one previous album, which I can’t really say I’ve heard, but on this, their second full length release, they make quite a powerful and compelling post-punk art-rock statement. From the drumbeat that opens “Lucky,” the listener will recognize that this is not your standard punk fare but something far more evolved — though the attitude is clearly in place in the voices of singers Alicia Gaines and Nadia Garofalo, the former handling bass guitar and the latter doing double duty on keyboards, the lyrics capturing a commanding urgency. Together with drummer Brian Cardiff and guitarist Charlie Landesman, they create quite an aggressive din across the album’s nine band-written tracks that, depending on which, may remind the listener of great bands past from the classic era (X-Ray Spex, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and others come to mind), but they are driving their own ideas with strength and passion. Landesman offers an array of guitar sounds from hard-edged, razor-sharp slashing chords to screaming jangly over-the-top digressions to brutally punishing simplicity; he is the core instrumental powerhouse, while the bottom end interaction between Cardiff’s inventive drum figures and Gaines’ bass lines support every song capably and keep it all interesting, along with Garofalo’s keyboard sounds, which make all the difference. Songs like “Projector,” “Bad Form,” and “Self Service” along with the aforementioned opener all hit the mark with ideas that are at once hook-filled and punchy, while “Emergency Equipment and Exits” and “Bags for Life” evolve over a stong rythmic base and pull out all the stops, the latter featuring a horn section for added power throughout. This would probably be a great band to see live; the gig list on their website shows them sticking close to home, though that could surely change. An excellent release.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Ganser

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