A Gentleman’s Guide | EP
A Gentleman’s Guide’s nasty musical ooze is the perfect example of how lo-fi quality can trump glossed-up production any day of the week. You can keep your perfectly EQ’ed radio tunes, because I’ll be staying right here with these gutter-thump beats and raunched-out rhythms that combine to make a strangely compelling record. I can’t begin to explain how happy I am to have heard “A Gentleman’s Guide” EP” — which I’m assuming is both the name of the record and band. I received an e-mail pointing me to these songs, and unlike most notices I read, nothing else came with it excepting these “bio words”: “Distortion, Drum Machines, Ay Oh Let’s Go, I Iv V, Stay Alive”. Whatever the hell that’s suppose to mean, I don’t care — I just love the music. The EP consists of four simply composed DIY songs with a muffled, white noise quality. They’re an odd, smoldering concoction of disco beats, hand-clap rhythms, grizzled production, rock guitar solos, new wave edginess, goth, and a healthy dose of sludgy punk. I hear some Velvet Underground drome-hum , the trashy B-movie aesthetic of My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, all wrapped in the group’s distinctly stylistic repetition and vocal moaning. They’re like four aural montages, the vocals sometimes indecipherable, excepting a few catchy phrases and some catchy lyricism, like that in “Hypnotized”: “Like a clock that can’t tell time / Like a word without a rhyme / Has you hypnotized once again”. The siren-guitar solo at the end of the track is short, but smoking hot. “Number One Girl” is the opening gambit, a song assuring a girl just who is at the top of the guy’s list. The four-song cycle feels like a quick tale of tail, a gentleman’s guide full of attraction, persistence, and sexuality. The group leave the best for last, “The End” being one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. Without fail, every time I get kinda bored with the music I’m hearing — some unknown band drops a thunderbolt in my e-mail to defibrillate the soul. Follow this Brooklyn band at bandcamp. — David D. Robbins Jr.