Album Review: Gum Takes Tooth - Silent Cenotaph

on Friday, July 22, 2011
Gum Takes Tooth – 'Silent Cenotaph' (UK Release: 13 June '11) // Words: Simon Opie

Dental references make me feel decidedly uneasy so Gum Takes Tooth are very well named in my book. They take what can be achieved with the duo format to the outer limits of rock and roll and way beyond. Savage opener 'Young Mustard' takes no prisoners on this, their debut album, showcasing in six minutes the primal fuel that propels their music, which is part Pink Floyd, part Aphex Twin, and as a whole quite startlingly original.

In the duo stakes they are somewhere to the radical side of Lightning Bolt and their music features a live drummer, Thomas Fuglesang, apparently also connected to various other noise generating gizmos, the outputs from which are then manipulated by Jussi Brightmore to create music ranging from ferocious soundscapes to mighty jungle rhythms.

The album’s first three tracks 'Young Mustard', 'Strychnine Motive' and 'The Earth’s Mantle Colonised' are concrete slabs of vocals driven, funky, abrasive noise - and very entertaining, too. Thereafter the album eases off a bit and I find the pastoral pleasures of 'Nomad/Monad' and 'Peace In Your Middle Yeast' much less convincing.

'Tannkj√łtt' restores a bit of disorder, which feeds into 'Rise From The Peat And Walk' without really recapturing the sheer brutality (and brilliance) of the album’s beginning. Final track 'Hermaphrodite And Nourishment' meanders to a disjointed but slightly disappointing finish.

If you like seriously twisted acid house then Gum Takes Tooth should be on your playlist - though they are a lot more chaotic and a lot less conventional than most working in the genre. It seems to me they are attempting to define how far music can be broken down and still be danceable. I find them most convincing when they hit hardest and consequently take the greatest risks, so the album is only half excellent, but I’ll be very surprised if we don’t hear a lot more from this exuberant London double act.


FREE DOWNLOAD: Gum Takes Tooth - Young Mustard

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