Monday, 22 September 2014

Mirrors Folding In

London's Gum Takes Tooth was one of the first bands that Paul, the guy who started Sonic Masala with me way back in 2010, introduced me to. I think the first time I saw them play was at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square; the second time the banks of the River Thames. They explore all terrain, not just the sonic; they stretch boundaries both external and internal. Every time I saw them the all-pervasive atmospheres create coalesced into something overtly alien and new. They were a revelation.

The same goes to their recordings also. Mirrors Fold (out through Tigertrap Records) is only their second record, yet it is already leaping through different vectors of sound exploration than the intrinsically heavier debut album Silent Cenotaph rendered, or even the EPs. They have shared stages with bands like Shit and Shine, another of those bands Paul introduced me too. But unlike Shit and Shine, whose moniker is probably the best to ever be committed to a band (the times I have seen them have been in either of those two extremes - when they are good they shine, but when they aren't - Jesus...), there is nothing haphazard on Mirrors Fold. They are more akin to Errors or (and I'm sure this comparison is made a lot) Battles, what with their electronic exuberance that is both dark and febrile, forever pressing percussive beats and cuts into new and claustrophobic realms whilst remaining intrinsically groove-laden. 'This Perfect Surface' is my favourite in this realm. However the groove can suddenly disappear into industrial rabbit hole like 'Bone Weapon', and it's on tracks like this where the live drumming makes a true impact. It's pressure-swelling-in-your-chest/pounding-in-your-head intensity, a carrion call to a dystopian burnt-sky cult, flamed and ingrained. 'Wych Elm' finishes off proceedings, and is some sort of lysergic barbiturate nightmare - a kaleidoscopic downward spiral set at quarter speed.

Every time I listen to Mirrors Fold I hear something new, and can't help but think that this album is a living organism all its own, some HR Geiger body horror writhing beast that will one day jump out of its vinyl skin and morph with my own. Weird. But that is the kind of insidious beauty Gum Takes Tooth have crafted here. It's bloody great. Preorder it here and let it steal your essence. Then double up on the live experience this Saturday as they destroy the Shacklewell Arms.

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