Gum Takes Tooth – Arrow

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“Basically, becoming a dad in these times, thinking of the present and the future that it’s aiming to construct, has brought all these up, intensely magnified and amplified.” Jussi Brighmore (half of the duo behind Gum Takes Tooth) commenting on how this album was made.

Hot damn! Now that’s some good shit!

It’s fucking big. It’s expansive. It’s walking out of a tent made of animal skin dressed in Viking gear and a robotic eye and, after a deep introspective pause (breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out), screaming out of your ripped and scarred vocal folds into an expansive rocky mountain range. It’s intellectual warfare. It’s anger. It’s families splitting apart because of opposing political views. It’s being pissed off with how the world has turned out. It’s the disappointment that comes when realizing humanity isn’t all that great. It’s that silent fear and panic we hold in your chest when we read the latest fuckup in fucksville. It’s looking at your kid and thinking, “good fucking luck”. It’s claustrophobic. It’s angry. It’s pent-up rage. It’s expressive. It’s Tom Fug and Jussi Brighmore making some badass tunes out of electronics and drums. And, hot damn, is it ever fucking good.

Back in ’09, these two motherfuckers figured out a method of making deep and resonant beat-forward music. Some might call them alternative. Others may call it electronic. I put them into the same category as Coil, NIN, The Knife, and Radiohead. They’re a bit of both and neither at once. Fucks to the ya. 

 “It’s been a time of enormous change for all of us given what’s happened over the last few years, to London, the place we live. Maybe it’s a more explicitly personal record for me as a result.” Jussi Brighmore talking about this album.

There are moments on this album I could see a listener gritting their teeth. This isn’t always a comfortable record. There are no tra la la’s or obladi’s on this motherfucker. You aren’t going to see any patchouli stank painted faces smiling out with, “We’re all the same! We just need to believe!” But, maybe also because of this, there are no platitudes or musical banalities either. This is the kind of album where you drift off into introspection and weighty dissociation. Yet, somehow, you still want to dance like a motherfucker. It builds tension like good dark electronic but with an optimistic core. This shit’s Jean Paul Sartre as a DJ with Camus as his funky drummer. Sure, it can be weighty at times. But an ass always shakes better when there’s a bit of junk in the trunk. 

 

 

 

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