Eoin Hennessy | Music Editor
Having released a handful of albums and EPs over the past two years, Guerilla Toss are back with a new record entitled Gay Disco. The Boston based art-rock group have this time released on experimental label NNA Tapes, also home to artists such as Oneohtrix Point Never and Ahnnu. The album, only six tracks long, is a collection of distorted noise, intense shrieking and primitive synth lines. From the first chords of opening track “Trash Bed”, it becomes hideously apparent that Guerilla Toss don’t make tracks for you to enjoy. Instead, they provide the listener with performance pieces, not to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home but rather in a filthy mosh pit at one of the band’s infamous gigs. The chaos, which is so associated with Guerilla Toss’ live shows is certainly tangible, whether for better or for worse. “Sugar Better” contains bass slapped beyond recognition while lead singer, Kassie Carlson, wails at the top of her voice. All of the remaining five songs on the album seem to adopt this same principle, resulting in emotions of panic and frustration as one tries to look beyond the band’s artistic image.
Instead, they provide the listener with performance pieces, not to be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home but rather in a filthy mosh pit at one of the band’s infamous gigs
One finds it difficult to even interpret meaning from Gay Disco. The song “Pink Elephant” could potentially be about inebriation if one takes a leaf out of the film Dumbo, while “Club Kids” could be about the famous party movement of the eighties and nineties, where Michael Alig and James St. James brought “fabulousness” to New York. These meanings, however, can only be taken from song titles, as one can see no resemblance between Carlson’s howling and these (probably far fetched) interpretations. Even for fans of noise rock, Gay Disco is extremely tough going.
Guerilla Toss may not have made a good album, or even an enjoyable song for that matter, but they sure are the stuff real musicians are made of
Although the album may translate into an astounding live show, when one has to endure it in the comfort of one’s home it seems too hard to look beyond the disorder. However, one can hardly criticise Guerilla Toss for their artistic merit as they’ve developed an almost cult-like following entirely based around their live performances, which may include full blown nudity and self mutilation. Guerilla Toss may not have made a good album, or even an enjoyable song for that matter, but they sure are the stuff real musicians are made of.