Aa – gAame (CD)

While the opening to “gAame” starts off in a fairly dissonant way (with the opening track “Deathmask”), some tinny sounding percussion (maybe a triangle) provides the first real harmony for the disc. The band gets more into a cohesive mood with “Best of Seven”, using this same sound to fuel the fires of this track. There are vocals that figure in in a way eighties-gothic type of way (45 Grave, Fields of the Nephilim), but the focal point changes with how far individuals are in the song.

While the songs on “gAame” are short (most of them hovering around the two to three minute mark), the break in the songs is highly arbitrary. In fact, the disc should be listened to as an entire entity rather than a collection of singles. The vocals come back in a major way during “Flag Day”, but their presence is put up against a very electronic style that operates in the same vocal level. There is a tribal sound that is threaded through the entirety of this track, so if individuals were looking for a single to place on the radio, “Flag Day” would be it. “Good Ship” continues with this same general framework but brings the electronic sound to the fore while giving the vocals a slightly lower pitch. What results is something that is much more harmonious than anything prior on the disc. The electronic backdrop sounds as if Aa were trying to create their own soundtrack for a Nintendo game, but far from sounding out of place, the band makes it work.

Aa is a band that has had their own bit of success in the past, but “gAame” will be the album that brings the band to the forefront of independent music. The ending segment of “Good Ship” is another step up for Aa, their complicated arrangements going one step further and creating something that is incredibly catchy and yet will challenge anyone that listens in. The vocals come in to a much larger role during “Manshake”, but this does not steer Aa into anything that is fundamentally different than what was present on the disc before. Simply put, Aa has made the feel-good album of the year, even if the “feel-good” sound is stashed alongside music that is a slower version of what Men’s Recovery Center and Agoraphobic Nosebleed would put on their albums. Pick this disc up when it comes out.

Top Tracks: Good Ship, Manshake

Rating: 8.3/10

Aa – gAame / 2007 Gigantic / 13 Tracks / http://www.sleeep.com/aa http://www.giganticmusic.com / Reviewed 21 April 2007

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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