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CD of the Week: Gauntlet Hair

Gauntlet Hair
Gauntlet Hair
(Dead Oceans)

There was a time when you could hear the huge brooding influence of Radiohead on almost every forward-thinking experimentally-inclined band. Now it seems like the more common sonic imprint on many new artists is that of Animal Collective. That trippy future-primitive aesthetic is there on the debut from Denver duo Gauntlet Hair, with vocals that go from distorted choir-boy echoes to feral coyote howls and war whoops. The repetitive percussive pulses split the difference between tribal and robotic, occasionally welling up to almost metal-worthy crescendos. Clean guitar patterns ripple out in hypnotic loops, or else they shatter in jagged slashes. Bottom-end bass sounds are somewhere in there, but almost sub-sonic, making the mix sound like it’s been carved away. The duo season their synthetic dance jams with sprinkles of abrasive noise. This is music that goes for body pleasure followed by a punch to the gut. 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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