As intense as Guerilla Toss can be at times, when they bring their chaotic production to pointed writing, there’s a palpable magic behind it. First listens of this latest release may take some getting used to, but there’s a depth to their madness that slowly makes you want to listen again and again. Though it’s admittedly not going to be an album for everyone, this is simultaneously Guerilla Toss’s most accessible but also ambitious record in some time.
A rush of bass and funky electronics sets things off on “Magic Is Easy” where the deep grooves and sunny vocals create a grimy world in their sound. As each bridge opens up into even more expansive blends of tone, Guerilla Toss pull you into their dynamic without overwhelming you at first. Though “Jesus Rabbit” is so overtly quirky while also direct in its social critique, it has an energy that will likely have you singing along to its outrageous hooks on repeat listens. By putting a kind of absurd pop flavour into their otherwise dense writing, Guerilla Toss achieve a strange balance on this track.
“Meteorological” follows this almost child-like approach to infectious melodies, where every verse feels so eccentric and lyrically bizarre that you end up getting into it because it sounds like nothing else. This said there’s so much to their abrasive funk that it’s simultaneously a rhythm showcase for modern music. If you can hold on during all the freaky energy of “Hacking Machine” the track slowly shifts into this constantly evolving punk rock beast. With sequencers shifting into fuzzy and dirty riffs, the track constantly has something new around each corner.
Between its flutes and dark bass hooks, “Retreat” definitely sees Guerilla Toss holding nothing back. While the song is inherently off-putting at first, there’s something mesmerizing about its wash of different effects. After all its endless streams of riffs, “Come Up With Me” slowly turns into a very 80’s space-rock power track. All the rushing hooks go from busying up the track, and become something invigorating to its constantly rising dynamics.
As if they were telling a children’s story, “Walls of The Universe” sees Guerilla Toss telling a story of nature in the greater cosmos. Their electronic overflow helps to keep them distinct from waves of other bands trying to bring something new to psychedelic rock. “Jackie’s Daughter” cleverly taps into even more eighties writing signatures, while taking a bunch of new sounds into the mix. This makes for a track that gets you dancing endlessly while providing constantly new moments within a beat.
Next to so many tracks on this record, “Green Apple” is a powerhouse showcase of just how explosive Guerilla Toss’s sound is. Amongst all the exotic vocal lines the drums freak in every which direction. The production itself shines as a kind of spiraling effect where there’s so much going on that it feels like parts aren’t being added or subtracted but rotated in some bizarrely rhythmic way.
Words by Owen Maxwell