Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Gilla Band remain typically confrontational and free-form on Most Normal

"Most Normal"

Release date: 07 October 2022
Gilla Band - Most Normal cover
07 October 2022, 00:00 Written by Chris Todd

Since their inception in 2011 Gilla Band have doubled down on the noise and chaos of whatever album came before.

2019s The Talkies took the improv style of their 2015 debut and added more noise, more chaos, and more disorder than that displayed on the shattering Holding Hands with Jamie.

Most Normal, their third album, and first since changing their name from Girl Band shows the band trying out a few tweaks to their sound. They strip back some of the bleakness of their previous material, there’s even something resembling a chorus, here and there, but let’s not go overboard here, they excel in murky, grimy no-wave, and that’s very much the agenda here too.

The album begins in a typically abrasive style. "The Gum" deploys the fuzzy sound of malfunctioning electronics, dysfunctional static, and abrasive slashes of white noise with vocalist Dara Kiely hurling abuse into the mic, – it’s as confrontational an intro to an album could be. The outcome of this, and the album as a whole, is very much a binary choice of either ‘this is horrible’, or ‘I love this’.

Some of Gilla Band’s most focused material is here. "Eight Fivers" is a bass and white noise heavy ode to Kiely’s poor clothing choices; “I spent all my money on shit clothes”, lamenting a shopping excursion to find boot cut jeans in Debenhams, Aldi and Lidl to no avail, the end result being a cacophony of sonic chaos.

"Backwash", one of their most accessible moments, has them channeling the rhythmic repetition of krautrock in an almost modern-day update of mid-eighties era records by The Fall. A stream of lyrical (un)consciousness takes in a binge watch of Big Brother and putting Vaseline on a trout. A driving elastic bassline is then attacked with an invasive scourge of guitars and trippy electro riffs, it's an exhilarating moment.

They descend further into Fall-isms on "Capgras", where the spoken words are even closer to the delivery of Mark E Smith – a rambling prose about not reading the small print before flying, hating Ryan Air, and starting a story with "Once upon a-SHUT UP". This kind of sprawling mess is what Gilla Band excel in and these tracks are some of their best to date.

The screams and swirling metal riffs on "Bin Liner Fashion"; the post-electroclash bounce on "Post Ryan"; the jittery dub of "Red Polo Neck"; and "Pratfall", where they deploy the same noise and effects approach used by Low on their recent output all reach the same kind of intensity levels of the likes of Coil or Aphex Twin, none of it is particularly pleasant, but that’s the point.

Most Normal is mostly freeform pieces with no real beginning, midpoint or end. It's typically confrontational, throwing the listener face first into their wall of noise with some spectacular excursions into how to make naturally rhythmic instruments sound ugly, aggressive, unpleasant and ultimately cathartic.

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