I climbed on board the hype train last weekend to catch Boston’s much talked-about Guerilla Toss on tour, and a funny thing happened. I was chatting with a high epopt of a certain national music magazine who and which shall remain here nameless, and we were both massively unimpressed with the band we were seeing. The grooves were tepid, the singer’s stage presence was awkwardly immature, and the whole band looked like a deadhead’s armpit sweat under a microscope. We chalked the whole experience up as a victory for some truly gifted publicist somewhere, and my pal bailed in a jaded, mild huff. I expressed my disappointment to another friend, who said “Yeah, I wish they would get off the stage so Guerilla Toss could play already.”
OOOOOH, FUUUUUUUUUUUCK… We tenured sitting-in-judgement-on-indie-music professionals had wrongly taken a weak-sauce opening band for the headliner - a terrible, terrible mistake, as it turned out, for no effort to find my friend and get him back to the club before Guerilla Toss played was of any use, and he missed one of the single most electrifying shows of the year.
If one were lazy it would be really easy to lump GT in with the “dance punk” dead end of ten years ago, but no, this is something else. They owe much more to similarly excoriating, female-fronted Boston bands like Big Bear than to the likes of The Rapture. The impact of their music felt like getting fisted by Melt Banana with Gang Gang Dance for lube. They were at once kinetic, visceral, hypnotic, and unforgettable. I typically hate it when a band wears out its welcome live, but GT’s set that night was WAY too short, and I don’t know that it COULD have been too long. Convulsive grooves fell apart and rebuilt themselves by the second, and singer Kassie Carlson’s engaging wail compelled attention like a Dresden air raid siren. Check out the first two tracks from their new EP Gay Disco:
They didn’t have copies of that EP at the show - I picked up some of their other stuff - but digital is already available via Amazon, iTunes and eMusic. Per their label, NNA Tapes, vinyl ships next week. Meanwhile, enjoy the video for “Drip Decay,” posted to YouTube by the band’s drummer Peter Negroponte, and have a cautious gander at their admirably eye-bleedy web site.