TRACK | Guitar – Double Down

5/5 golden merles

“Double Down” is freshly forged Portland-based lo-fi garage and post-punk. A slightly disoriented rendition of what you’ve come to expect: the atoms scrambled up, the collider coughing up something new. The work is recoiling from structure and form a bit and thereby moving closer toward tone and feeling. It feels singular despite the common pallet. It unravels for a couple minutes before snapping back into a likeness for what you might favor.

The album didn’t immediately burrow into my skull on the first pass when I saw it come up at the esteemed and endlessly reliable tegosluchamPL. But a second pass as the closing track on onetwoxu.de‘s recent Verspannungskassette #40 finally got it through the thickness and had me excitedly searching “guitar” in google like a jackass for a bit.

What should rock music sound like in a geriatric oligarchy? It’s a tool, as always, but one of escape or commiseration? In Guitar’s self-titled you can have a bit of both. From where I sit —fleeing one price gouging to another, within a gauntlet of diseases, no prospects or future— it feels like a good approximation: the sound of disillusionment compounding. There are plenty of bits where the melody and traditional structure is subverted, detuned and driven off the cliff or into a pit. And ringing truer because of it. And with plenty of cohabitant reference points for footing. And the work is overall stronger for it, ending with this, the most approachable track, “double down.” In a class of them it would be voted most likely to succeed, but, in god’s name, at what? It is the most at ease with expectations and a great tune, bigger within the context of a really good set.

The cassette is out on Spared Flesh Records.

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