In Gnod we trust - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #80

I don’t call myself a poet because I’m not one, but I wouldn’t because I don’t like the word. There’s a deal of nostalgia in rock and roll. Just look at the cover of NME on any given fortnight, slathered with the words return, comeback and full of artists familiar twenty years ago. Rock and roll was better twenty years ago, they seem to cry, aching for a return when rock and roll was better. But rock and roll today is fucking superb! You just gotta look at Gnod to know we’re doing better than ever. To NME I say (firstly, give me a job please) write about your own times. Write about your own world. We’re here, now, and we’re livin’ it right now and there are things going on that will hit you like a twenty-foot gong and you won’t stop shaking ‘til yer firmly in the ground if you just let ‘em in. That’s why you mighta noticed I changed my angle of attack, and am writing a whole bunch more on albums that are recent. No I don’t know when recent starts, mid 2010ish. Yah I love my MC5s and my Sir Lord Baltimores just like you guys but there are bands out there sorely missing the kind of lysergic higher rock and roll criticism those bands took for granted and here at this blog we specialise in pretending we can do. Though Gnod need no assistance from us shitheads to convince you that they’re meditatively vital for the ultramodern rock and roll revolution. So our quarry today comes outta the north (though south of here) ready with red hand steady on a bloody machete, slice Jack’s… take an axe and give that motherfucker forty whacks. This spinning disk ain’t gonna stop ‘til heads roll off the cuttin’ block. So why do they seem to fucking zen? They’ve got away with these sonic crimes for so long because nobody in authority can bring themselves to believe that such chilled out and ultimately harmless people could have so much of the werewolf in ‘em. Well the evidence is there, they’re pushing it in our faces motherfucker and dropping the kind of prolific pseudo-religious drivel that starts actual religions. I say we all just submit because there isn’t anything stopping this four-record-a-year sonic caravan, best to just give in lest we get crushed under its spinning vinyl wheels.


A song is something that walks by itself. I hate to get all fucking contemplative on y’ kiddies because it makes me look like a colossal cunt and leaves ya none the wiser but Gnod are just so far outside my normal (normal? Ya, normal) modes of expression there’s little else to do ‘cept talk like some pop-cult mans-man pseudo-psyche pill freak in slow tones and hope y’all grasp the right end of the spiritual stick and go out and avail yersels of everything Gnod are giving out, shirts, disks, downloads, anything they do is up t’ it’s neck in this thoroughly essential modern statement about the cure for what ails us. Rock and roll has always meant something, in the fifties it was about rebellion, in the sixties, revolution, in the seventies it was about the death of the fifties and sixties, in the eighties it was about surviving the eighties, in the nineties it was about all the previous meanings being a dirty capitalistic lie we’re all still falling for, in the naughties there was no rock and roll because everything what called itself rock and roll was a revolting saccharine chart cunt in the worst possible invocation. We’re still figuring out the teens. For me it’ll be Heliotropes, בלטה and Gnod leading a horde of Mongol warriors riding amplifiers, not horses. Of course this’ll be the first decade with true rock maestros waiting in the wings who haven’t as yet been heard to any degree. Heliotropes are NY, the heart of the syphilitic corpse of the west, so they’re poised to nail the beauty right as the whole thing comes tumbling down, בלטה are more essential because they’re right in the heart of the revolution in Palestine which may yet prove to be the end of us all as the mushroom clouds rise and בלטה’s electric fury storms across the nuclear apocalypse-wracked wastes looking for minds to blow. Gnod have a handle on something going on right now, which is nothing. We have no great conflict, we have no great task, our ‘crisis’ is ensuring the economy don’t collapse so we can still buy things that don’t matter to impress people we despise and the only people truly worried are greed heads who don’t realise that anything truly worth having can never be sold for money. While I am endeavouring to write about ma own time, Gnod are playing songs firmly rooted in the now.

Gnod drop with a firework crackle synapse-snap spacerock inadequately described as motherfucking. Cut after cut of pure heavens, stars an’ all, go into each glorious record and they’re so damn prolific. Your first Gnod record is gonna become an addiction, and after a few years of wearing the tee to threads and ruining your neighbours sleep schedules you’ll wonder what you ever saw in that first dead-eyed knockoff compared to what they’re cranking out now. The two-part Chaudelande records are the summation, the most together statement yet by this band, but no doubt they’ll have a few more in place by the time this goes out. That isn’t to diminish the value of the more splintered expressions as additional salvoes to have at the ready in yer sonic armoury. Even their most together statement has languid songs stretched out over ten, twenty minutes, entire side-long explorations through empty plains torn at by howling guitars and the feral cries of wolves. They paint the sort of feelings that never come again, launching into wild energetic workouts to which witnesses to Gnod live will attest. Even when the riffage on volume two of Chaudelande gets into dang heavy territory, giving the final cut from L.A.M.F. or Holy McGrail’s Shake Appeal cover some serious competition, the band never seem out of breath, even while exhaustingly battering their instruments and the listener. A Gnod album will floor you for sure, but the band are barely getting started. This is what they bring that music so badly needs. Perspective. The world is a ride, and we are all part of that ride and nobody wants to get off, so much so that they’ve forgotten that this is a ride at all and believe it all actually matters. They think the fear is real and the spite is real and the more fearful and spiteful y’ are, the more real everything is. Nothing in the world matters, least of all the things people seem to worry about the most. Just as they take a sledgehammer to the shop window of conventional anything, reminding us that the verse-chorus-verse structure is as much a fable as anything, Gnod put things in perspective. It’s just music. It’s just money and it’s just life. It doesn’t matter and none of it is going to last forever and in two days the things you’re worrying about now will make you laugh so why not cut to the chase. The only things that matter are the things that don’t ever pass or fade from memory, love, happiness, peace, beauty. You’re all beautiful people, not because of what you look like, but because of what you can do. You can make someone’s day, without any effort; just by smiling and having a good time you’ll spread the love at the speed of sound. So why don’tcha?

What matters is that on this ride we have fun, because that’s what a ride is for. If you aren’t having fun at every minute then what’s the point of being on the ride? That’s why Gnod are the band resolutely for now. That is the cure for what ails us. What ails us is a crippling plague of seriousness and a potentally fatal case of taking life seriously, symptoms include a total lack of perspective, thinking pieces of paper are more important than human beings with feelings and the ability to love, doing things you hate to acquire pieces of paper and disregarding music, love, companionship and beauty in favour of chrome and glass and leather and numbers. Urgent prescription is to drop whatever you’re doing, and go and enjoy yerself right now. And there’s not many more enjoyable things than settling down for eight solid hours with your collection of Gnod records and letting them plaster yer brain against the back of yer skull again and again ‘til y’ realise it’s just a ride.

Written under duress by Steven.

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