One thing I can say about Gloomy Gus is that this solo project doesn’t sound like anything else out there. His recent EP Do Me Like a Rail doesn't come off as something that is accessible but it has a raw, visceral quality as if Gloomy Gus can't but help but make anything but this music. As you listen to this EP it’s obvious that this IS the music he wants to make and it is coming from a very real place. He doesn't have a great voice and you won't find him winning any singing competitions but he sings his heart out. His raspy vocal performance almost feels like an improvisation as he sometimes slurs his words, goes a couple of octaves too low and overemphasizes words.
The album opens up with “I Loved Her Like A Comet,” which begins with a reverb-laced guitar and vocals. As the song progresses it introduces percussive elements, shards of white noise and more guitar creating an original concoction of noise. The song is solid and reasonably catchy.
“Do me Like a Rail” showcases Gloomy Gus’ dynamic range. When he starts singing in a very low octave it has a comedic quality that is endearing and works with the music. It is very similar in the way Ariel Pink sometimes makes you laugh. On top of the distorted guitars he implements a subtle electronic beat.
“Nostalgia” contains a bit less energy than the first two tracks. Gloomy Gus goes melancholy and attempts to deliver an emotional performance by using a field recording of rain playing alongside his music. The EP closes with “Began In An Airplane” where he breaks out the acoustic and delivers one of his cleanest performances.
Gloomy Gus has a unique sound and I have a feeling that people will either love or hate his songs and vocal style. Take a listen for yourself and see what you think.
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