Review: Wot Gorilla? – Kebnekaise
Published on October 15th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
“I beat up the bathroom. I’m sorry”; a superb would-be opening line for anyone’s book, we’re sure you’ll agree, but it is in fact the title of the opening track of Wot Gorilla’s debut album Kebnekaise, which incidentally had Rocksucker all atwitter with the following…
Forgot to mention, “I beat up the bathroom. I’m sorry” is also tremendously fresh, wibbly, verging-on-cartoonish math-rock that explodes into sludge soon before its end. The ensuing “Melted Welly” throws in the general presence henceforth of sweet, playful vocals and breathy harmonies, so beguiling against that hypnotic weird jangle and slipstreams of proggy abandon.
“is” belies the astonishingly otherworldly musicianship at play by coming together as something definitely within the realms of pop song (at least before going on this mad tangential run), while “Suspects” is so damn epic it’s hard to believe that it comes in at just 4 minutes 15; it’s a tempestuous maelstrom of maths, way more satisfying than its erstwhile school homework counterpart.
“655” is like Mew meets At the Drive-In in delightfully silly circumstances (“Is this a friend of yours? / Nice to meet you”) before lyrically moodshifting into “Can it get any worse?”, answerable of course with “well, this album goes from strength to strength, in this case with chiming harmonics”, at least if you talk like a cliché-spouting music reviewer, which would be bizarre.
Kebnekaise continues communicating something through its song titles with “Holy B’Jesus!” – indeed – in which “I don’t feel as if I’m in my own skin” reflects the vague pop song caught up in this supremely intricate web of ringing guitar lines and sheer time signature chaos. “Afraid of the Dark” embarks on some frankly ridiculous metal riffing that manages to make something warm and fuzzy out of a cast iron Rocksucker phobia, paving the way for curtain-closer “Snow White” to strike out against the bright white background that seems to exist in each of these songs, as the noises wrought in front of it creates a patterened carnage of crackling visual frequencies. Yup.
“Maybe this is as good as it will ever get for me / Push myself as far as I can go” considers “Holy B’Jesus!”; well, we’ll see on album two, but this is a terrific opening gambit from (presumably) Halifax’s finest jazz-tinged math-prog-popsters.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!