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Audio Drag for Ego Slobs


Artist: Gustaf
Label: Royal Mountain Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 01 October 2021

Royal Mountain Records releases Audio Drag For Ego Slobs, the debut album by Gustaf. Formed in 2018, and gigging extensively, they broke onto the scene in late 2020 with the single, 'Mine', which was A-listed on BBC 6 Music. The band consists of Tine Hill on bass, Vram Kherlopian on guitar, Melissa Lucciola on drums, Tarra Thiessen on vocals and percussion, and Lydia Gammill on lead vocals – and is compared in style to The B-52s, Talking Heads, and Television. They tap into the NY scene whilst exploring feelings of existential dread and blind joy with a maniacal delivery of organised chaos. The album was recorded at the Honey Jar Studio in Brooklyn and co-produced by Carlos Hernandez (Mr Twin Sister) and Gammill. The release is available for download...

Track List: 'Mine', 'Book', 'Best Behaviour', 'Dream', 'Liquid Frown', 'The Motions', 'Cruel', 'Dog', 'Package', and 'Happy'.

We begin with a nice bass and drum beat intro. The guitar plays simple trebly chord sequences, and the female vocals are clear, but flat, expressionless and somewhat monosyllabic. There is no real change of format for the songs which follow, although one or two have a little more oomph (that’s a technical term, you know!), and 'Best Behaviour' slows things down a little. I got a handle on the style pretty early on, which doesn’t really deviate from the template sound. I can understand the reference to the B-52s and Talking Heads, although it does those bands an injustice when the vocals here are stated rather than sung with any melody or range and the combo follows-suit.

I would describe this collection as an attempt to mix the styles of Punk and Indie. Unfortunately, the unchanging monotony begins to grate before the halfway point. Perhaps Gustaf are untrained in their art – I certainly get that impression – but the original Punk explosion allowed for that, so I would encourage them to continue and hone their skills. However, I suggest mixing-it-up, injecting more rhythm and melody into the songs – particularly with the vocals, which need to be more emotive in order for people to invest in their journey. But not for me, I’m afraid.


Ty Power

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