Package Pt. 2 By Gustaf album review by Ben Lock for Northern Transmissions


Package Pt. 2


If you are a fan of No wave/ Post punk revival with an energetic and uniquely modern twist then prepare to be amazed by the Sophomore album Package Pt.2 from Gustaf the 5 piece art punk ensemble hailing from the ever evolving scene of Brooklyn, New york.

The words “I project my way to the center of the stage” sung by Gustaf Singer Lydia Gammill start this record off in a hypnotic and chaotically controlled way in “Statue” and Just as you get hyped up by the opener track it is immediately followed by a evolving and angular post punk track “Close” Which is a very strong vocal performance and has a driving rhythm section that carries the energy through the track. Following “Close” is The groovy and moving track “ What does it mean” that carries a similar cohesive grooviness to the rest of the record. The repetitive and trance-like “Starting and staring” grooves hard and has a fun call and response ending to the track. The mid tempo Funky ripper “I Won” has one of the funkiest riffs on the album and has some very light hearted Low pitched backing vocals coming in and out of the track. The track to hold down the middle half of this record is the maddening and totally fed up track “Wearing me down” which sees Lydia Gammill at her most savage. To follow one of the most energetic songs off the record is one of the more dynamic and cohesive moments off the album “Here Hair” and “Hard Hair” Which build into a two part practice of tension and release. In “Here Hair” We see the band play with an abundance of tempo changes and false builds that lead us into the track’s sequel “Hard Hair” a 45 second rager that carries on similar ideas as the tracks predecessor “Here Hair” and adds the high energy breakdown we are all waiting for.

As the latter half of the record goes on we are met with more dissonant and rhythmically dense songs such as “Produce” that are filled with quite sadistic and cartoonishly low pitched backing vocals which although have some charm earlier in the record seem to get a little old and distracting to the main vocal. “ Happiest thought” doesn’t break new ground on this record in terms of dynamics but it does have some great guitar riffs that sneakily bounce around the vocals that I quite like. The second to last track on the record “Ground” is a low key and chill groover with similar sing talky vocals to the other tracks but seems to come to a crescendo unlike other tracks off the record with the smartly written chord progression in the outro section.

The final number on the record is “End Of The Year” A smart and dynamic track that sees Gustaf cover new ground musically with some other instruments such as strings and harps. I’d love to see the band play more with these elements and dynamics on future records as it fits really well with their sound. As fun as this album is, there is little change in dynamic and tone between the songs which is something this band seems more than capable of doing especially after hearing “End Of The Year” and I’m excited to hear what they do next. This album is not perfect, But it is still a fun and playful set of post punk tunes played with finesse and creative energy.

Pre-order Package Pt.2 by Gustaf HERE


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