The Gris Gris – For The Season (CD)

The Gris Gris – For The Season / 2005 Birdman / 12 Tracks / http://www.thebirdmangroup.com / Reviewed 08 October 2005

The Gris Gris start out “For The Season” with a noisey, brass (and flute)-heavy arrangement. Luckily enough, the band really adds some form of cohesion to the track about a minute after this spastic opening. When the experimental noodling is toned down for the bulk of the track, the band’s pseudo-goth approach to the track really will make listeners recall both Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy. Even though “For The Season” has normal track lengths, the fact is that the band really only uses these as a guideline instead of a rule. Tracks push through to the following composition, forcing a style of cohesion onto the listeners.

Still maintaining the dramatic flair of previous tracks, “Cuerpos Haran Amor Extranop” looks to country music in its wide expanses and drawn-out arrangements. The disc really takes a bizarre spin during “Down With Jesus”, which almost sounds as if the studio inserted a “Jesus Freak”-era Christian rock band for a few minutes. The track has ties to the present with a sound that is comparable to “Bad News”-style Modest Mouse, but also to earlier rock. The different movements and styles of the previous section of “For The Season” are coalesced into something new for “Big Engine Nazi Kid Daydream”. Unlike the tacked-on title, there seems to be a confident, single sound for this track (the band even incorporates “The Chocolate War”-era Peter Gabriel-like vocals successfully). The first half of the disc (the first six tracks on the disc are a suite) would benefit from a lyric booklet but are not musically dubious. With a groove in the later section of “Kid Daydream” just begging individuals not to fall in love with it, the end result of “For The Season” is a musical tour de force that does not sputter out or underachieve.

Without quite as much tying together the second half of “For The Season”, there are still tracks present (such as “Skin Mass Cat”) that will shock and awe individuals. The plodding sound of the track, coupled with the thin tendrils of vocals that caress listeners fit well in content even if the tone varies slightly. The density of each of the tracks on the disc is really enough to make the forty-eight minutes of “For The Season” easily feel twice as long; this is a good omen for fans but really challenges the casual or new listener. The disc is worth any discomfort, however.

Top Tracks: Mademoiselle of the Morning, Skin Mass Cat

Rating: 6.1/10

[JMcQ]

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