guerilla toss GT Ultra (CD, £10.50)label: D.F.A.
‘GT Ultra’ is the second full length album by Guerilla Toss on DFA Records. The album demonstrates a remarkable shift in sound, musicianship and songwriting, without ever giving up the remarkable unhinged quality that made their earlier recordings so exciting. The album title ‘GT Ultra’ is a clever nod to Project MK Ultra, the government sponsored experiments using new experimental drugs to explore mind control, torture and forced confessions, often with LSD as their drug of choice. These tests lasted from the mid-1950s-1960s but with a new administration in the White House, government sponsored torture is fresh again on many minds. The songs on the album ricochet back and forth between hyper bouncy pop and deeper darker longer, more nuanced tracks. Peter Negroponte’s drumming, always a major highlight for the band, is in full force once again, this time bringing a Nassau / Compass Point feel to many tracks, like the classic recordings of Grace Jones and Talking Heads. Kassie’s vocals and lyrics are both more personal and more cryptic than ever (but you can hear every word this time and there is a lyric sheet). As preferred, the meaning is within the listener. It is a dream state record for sure, meant to take you along on a similar vibe that the band has been tripping on these past few years, filled with an insistence to “hydrate, gyrate, think straight, no weight,” all the while under the influence of golden beams of orange sunshine, glimmering glitter and kaleidoscopic bursts. It is no mistake the album is wrapped in vintage blotter acid, created by legendary LSD archivist and artist Mark McCloud and The Institute Of Illegal Images, based in Francisco.
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