The Gris Gris â€“ For The Season / 2005 Birdman / 12 Tracks / http://www.thebirdmangroup.com / Reviewed 08 October 2005
The Gris Gris start out â€œFor The Seasonâ€ 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 bandâ€™s pseudo-goth approach to the track really will make listeners recall both Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy. Even though â€œFor The Seasonâ€ 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, â€œCuerpos Haran Amor Extranopâ€ looks to country music in its wide expanses and drawn-out arrangements. The disc really takes a bizarre spin during â€œDown With Jesusâ€, which almost sounds as if the studio inserted a â€œJesus Freakâ€-era Christian rock band for a few minutes. The track has ties to the present with a sound that is comparable to â€œBad Newsâ€-style Modest Mouse, but also to earlier rock. The different movements and styles of the previous section of â€œFor The Seasonâ€ are coalesced into something new for â€œBig Engine Nazi Kid Daydreamâ€. Unlike the tacked-on title, there seems to be a confident, single sound for this track (the band even incorporates â€œThe Chocolate Warâ€-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 â€œKid Daydreamâ€ just begging individuals not to fall in love with it, the end result of â€œFor The Seasonâ€ is a musical tour de force that does not sputter out or underachieve.
Without quite as much tying together the second half of â€œFor The Seasonâ€, there are still tracks present (such as â€œSkin Mass Catâ€) 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 â€œFor The Seasonâ€ 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