The Tourist

With Dom the bassist/vocalist for WV sludge-punks Rhin swapping to guitarist/vocalist in Gloop, I just had to check these cats out.  Rhin’s a personal favorite of mine with their varied ability to meld punk, noise-rock, sludge and sprawling album closers into one tantalizing whole.  Gloop is a different animal altogether.  Also a trio, Gloop sounds like Unsane on crack or Godheadsilo gone over the deep end into a pit of rusty spikes and smashed up fiberglass.  It’s a mess of distorted screaming, breakneck rhythms, punk rock songwriting lengths and aggression beyond aggression.  There’s no doubt that these cats could have been on Am-Rep back in the day but here they are on the equally respectable Grimoire imprint with their debut, The Tourist.

“A Shrine Built for Two” presents a lockstep, sweat spitting beat from drummer Max Detrich while Blake Douglas wraps a thick, gnarly bass line around the forward propulsion.  This leaves Dom to drive the song with a nasty freeway pile-up of discordant, slashing riffs and messy, howling distorto-screams.  It’s freaked out stuff with only one intention; to maim and kill with an all-out attack of punk rock n’ roll, directly spilling over into the equally possessed “Skunked” which might halt the tempo half a click and bring up the bass volume just a hair more in terms of production.  Chuggier, creaky drops into more controlled assault n’ battery appear when you need ‘em most and even the vocals become more decipherable.  Instead of a constant lunge at your throat, it’s almost like the trio lays back for tangible songwriting change-ups in this motherfucker.  That is if such tangibility came armed for your head with a scythe in each hand.  The whiplash inducing stop/starts and an outro of nearly cleanly strummed melodic chords further the tune’s mental ward personality.  If anybody has ever heard the lost gem Sports by The Pope (on Wantage Records) this will be right up your alley.  “Salamander” reverts to spine-numbing, high-frequency noise that never slows down for 5 seconds and is the definition of ADHD rock.  It certainly took all of the Adderall in the medicine cabinet.  No one’s going to argue that!

Mid-tempo returns on “Three Legged Ghost” where battering snare/tom breaks keep the girders from cracking in half and a dirtball bass riff provides a perch for the minor key noise guitar streaks.  Dom screams his damn head off as you try to gain some semblance of place n’ time as you listen.  There’s so much distortion piled on top of these tracks that even the continuum around you starts to warp and fade.  Props for the second half slow down where a scalding, busted string solo squeal out melts into a dreamy, 90s Hum/Shiner guitar strum.  Kicking off with a vortex of impaling guitar spires “Bright Sigh” soon morphs into an electrocuted muted riff and head-down rhythms with Dom almost narrating a song until the music throws the killswitch on the kind of hateful noise-rock Hammerhead and the first three Today is the Day’s purveyed.  “Who ate the Sun?” turns the aforementioned influences up to 22, double eleven, dragging you along on a rickshaw ride to hell where it kamikazes all of its passengers and thusly resurrects them with a playful jazzy hoedown that’s heard during the climax.  Crystalline post-rock guitars bookend “Samurai Birthday’s” hellish rhythmic collisions and anger management psychotics, leaving the album to close on a doomier, largely slower atmospheric decay in the form of the plummeting “Dancing Tongues.”

The Tourist will annoy some and please others.  As a diehard noise-rock fanatic consider me among the pleased, even very pleased.  This record packs the same nihilistic black heart that many of my favorites in the genre used to fuel their lifespans.  Gloop is hardly pretty, in fact their one of the shrillest bands I’ve heard doing it in the modern genre but I think the discerning noise-freaks will hear the songwriting and playing on this one, separating the wheat from the chaff in the process.  Good stuff though sensitive ears used to lower tones will want to stay far the fuck away from these nuts!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Jay S
June 26th, 2018


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