Guerilla Toss “Meteorological”
Twisted Crystal, the forthcoming release from Guerilla Toss is a “personal” album for the band. The collection of songs pulls influence from The Slits, ESG, Gina X, and early Madonna, with sing-speak vocals from Kassie Carlson nodding to legendary artists like Laurie Anderson. This week the band shared the latest single “Meteorological,” which is now available via DFA Records and streaming services.
Oracles and enigmatic egos are common lyrical themes, but charismatic instrumentality springs the listener back to extraterrestrial comfort. Old favorite sounds ring true from the trusty Sequential Circuits Six Track Synthesizer and Clavia Drum Machine. New, more refined sounds are molded and polished by drummer/producer Peter Negroponte, whose passion for perfection and creation goes far beyond an all-consuming Tetris effect. Peter has truly excelled on this new recording, creating a complex networks of beats and sound that become easily intertwined with the rhythmic fabric of life.
Raised in a devoutly religious family, vocalist Kassie Carlson started performing at the age of five. She often participated in large pastoral choral performances, as well as her family’s four-part harmony gospel quartet, making her no stranger to the stage. Growing up under the fear of God leaves a distinct footprint on your perception. An omnipresent male dictates not only your present waking life but also the rest of your eternity. Discovering a rock band was more than self-expression for Kassie, it was a manifestation of a self-healing temple, a personal pipeline for power. What better way to part the waters of toxic sludge than a matriarchal shout?
Arian Shafiee, Guerilla Toss’ resident textural-guitar guru, is inspired by aspects of non-Western tuning and extended techniques. He designs moments of dense, glistening, pitch-shifted harmony and measured strumming that link classical impressionism to no-wave and early minimal music. His recent solo work truly comes through on this new record, as he tethers fantastical surreality to noise rock to deconstructed Middle Eastern pop music. Keyboardist Sam Lisabeth paws the keys with distinct virtuosity and expressive sass. A new member, Stephen Cooper (of the band Cloud Becomes Your Hand), binds the group with an urgent, disciplined, and melodic style. The hypnotic, ostinato-like basslines and up front rhythm tracks guide and grip each song like gravity, keeping the listener from swirling off into the cosmos.
In albums past, Kassie’s performances resembled more of a manic, possessed high priestess; humming at the gates of hell, hacking telepathy and tugging the strings of every audience member. Twisted Crystal goes beyond this familiar darkness, leading us into a rhythmically calming charm with deep wisdom, serenity, and understanding. What is a twisted crystal? And who told you it would heal?
1. Magic Is Easy
2. Jesus Rabbit
4. Hacking Machine
6. Come Up With Me
7. Walls Of The Universe
8. Jackie’s Daughter
9. Green Apple
09/17 Winooski, VT @ The Monkey House
09/18 Montreal, QC @ l’Escogriffe Bar Spectacle
09/19 Toronto, ON @ The Baby G
09/20 Cleveland, OH @ Mahall’s
09/21 Athens, OH @ The Union
09/22 Chicago, IL @ The Hideout
09/24 Milwaukee, WI @ Cactus Club
09/25 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St. Entry
09/26 Omaha, NE @ Reverb Lounge
09/27 Lawrence, KS @ White Schoolhouse
09/28 Denver, CO @ Hi-Dive
09/29 Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records
09/30 Boise, ID @ Funky Taco
10/02 Butte, MT @ Covellite Theater
10/03 Spokane, WA @ Bartlett
10/04 Seattle, WA @ Vera Project
10/05 Portland, OR @ Bunk Bar
10/06 Eugene, OR @ Lorax
10/07 Arcata, CA @ Outer Space
10/09 Redding, CA @ The Dip
10/10 San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
10/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Zebulon
10/12 San Deigo, CA @ Whistle Stop
10/13 Tijuana, MX @ Moustache
10/14 Phoenix, AZ @ LBX
10/15 Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
10/19 Austin, TX @ Hotel Vegas
10/20 Denton, TX @ Dan’s Silverleaf
10/21 Fayetteville, AR @ Smoke & Barrel
10/23 Nashville, TN @ The End
10/24 Asheville, NC @ Mothlight
10/25 Durham, NC @ Wicked Witch
10/26 Richmond, VA @ Gallery 5
10/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
10/28 Cambridge, MA @ Elk’s Lodge
10/30 Providence, RI @ Columbus Theater
10/31 Brooklyn, NY @ Market Hotel (DFA Halloween Party!)
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