The most unsettling trio of noisemakers on any plane of existence today, Gondoliers, are set to release their first record on Midriff Records on November 19, 2013. The album, Tonight’s Whispering, dives headlong into twisted worlds. The vinyl version of Tonight’s Whispering is a split release between Midriff Records and the 100% Breakfast label (www.weirdorecords.com
, 844 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA 02139). Tonight’s Whispering is a fury of noise-pop wonder and tension.
Tonight’s Whispering is full of poison vapor synths and the hailstorm guitars that Gondoliers has been mapping out for the past few years behind the demented navigation of vocalist John Manson. Here, the band distills their sickened mind-meld of generations of the thorniest rock possible – laserstorm prog, the gnarled electronics of Einsturzende Neubauten, the off-balance drums of Jawbox, guitars that swerve between Duane Denison and Thurston Moore all with the looseness and fun of a Pavement album.
Gondoliers – which was originally Daniel Madri (Joy, the Jack McCoys, Godboy) on guitar and synths and Brendan Gibson on drums – had released a handful of instrumental records as a two-piece before hooking up with Manson for their first stab at recording together in 2011. Manson was already one of the most recognizable performers in the Boston, MA area. He’d spent years howling through gas masks and bashing battered metal drums in Neptune, fronting the Young Sexy Assassins from behind an onstage desk, and courting awkward moments with the junkyard Vangelis atmospherics of Magic People. From outside of clubs and basement bulkheads, you’d hear his voice carry over the rest of the band’s cacophony in its telltale crazed oration, one long and unfolding nightmare sermon. He was a perfect fit for the Gondoliers’ bleak sci-fi assault.
The re-launched band took to blasting rickety basement shows with blinding floodlights and overwhelming noise. Gondoliers come at the whole thing with a metaphysical trickster detachment. They dress in coveralls, they dress in hard hats. They wrap themselves in plastic backyard sports equipment and spill cheap beer all over the house.
There are sleek, ice cold synth pads from ‘80s dystopian night clubs. There are uncomfortable guitars tangled up and discarded from post-hardcore garbage trucks. Sickened feverish dreams slip past it in an oily fog. The band conjures a mish-mash of John Carpenter films playing melted and out of order at all the wrong speeds. Casts of pilgrims, castaways, backyard hobos, lusting visitors with little wrists, archrivals, and narcissistic artists jump out of shadows. The band changes directions without the slightest warning. Gondoliers are a dangerous, messy band. Part twisted dance band, part jarring noise band, but not without familiarity. Like an old art damaged drinking buddy, Tonight’s Whispering pulls you in with its eccentricities and does things that stick in your craw for months after they’ve left. It’s a strange world and Gondoliers are cool with it.
Gondoliers will be touring Europe this fall with more road time to come. We hope you’ll get behind Tonight’s Whispering and bask in its magic.