Ganser - Nothing You Do Matters EP Music Album Reviews

Ganser - Nothing You Do Matters EP Music Album Reviews
The Chicago quartet play nervy post-punk with a groundedness and poise that suggests if your back is up against the wall, you might be able to lean on it for support.

Anyone can play punk rock. For Ganser, that’s no excuse for low standards. Over a pair of albums, including 2020’s marvelous Just Look at That Sky, the Chicago quartet deployed simple phrasing to make increasingly complicated thematic and artistic statements. On Nothing You Do Matters, a short EP produced by Liars’ Angus Andrew, they offer up their most sophisticated music yet.

Plenty of bands over the past five or so years have distilled the nausea-inducing spirit of the age into limber, rainy post-punk. While those groups have tended to play it lean and feisty, as if chaos might be pinned in a cage fight, Ganser’s groundedness and poise suggests that if your back is up against the wall, you might be able to lean on it for support. Co-lead singers Nadia Garofalo and Alicia Gaines sing from deep within themselves—you can practically hear Garofalo’s rueful laugh as she reflects on a “hell of a day” in Just Look at That Sky’s “Lucky”—as guitarist Charlie Landsman scribbles and flashes. Both singers treat the ferocious noise they generate with their band with the respect and detachment one might a major weather event: It’s nothing personal, but they still stay dry.

Taking inspiration from Adrian Sherwood’s industrial dubs, Nothing You Do Matters’ two original tracks (Andrew also provides a remix of “People Watching”) feel like oil paintings smeared as they dry. Every part washes into another; at any given moment, they could be gathering breath in the middle of a verse or rounding through a chorus. Garofalo’s voice scatters through the background of “People Watching,” her insistent reminder that “No one is asking, everyone’s taking” coming from all directions like people in a train station. Drummer Brian Cundiff seems to drag the rhythm, making the song a little sluggish, a little irked, and it thickens when Garofalo’s synth fills the chorus like injection foam filling the gap in a wall. “Gotta take it all,” Gaines sings in counterpoint. She’s a taunting Greek chorus, the collective knowingness aiming dramatic irony out at the listener, rather than toward the on-stage subject.

Andrew brings the same ethos of ever-expanding mischief to these songs that he did in Liars’ mid-period highs, Drum’s Not Dead and Liars, setting traps throughout “What Me Worry?” Some of his best tricks are present—the single fingersnap recalls the abrupt ping of “It Fit When I Was a Kid,” to similarly unnerving effect—but Just Look at That Sky’s spooked-out details and clipped rhythms suggest that much of his task here was to give Ganser more space for their own ideas. Twinkles of keyboard ring through the scuzz; guitars and programmed strings seem to hum at the same frequency. Everything is dazzling and terrible. It’s as if the music is springing up from a haunted casino.

On both tracks, Gaines plays her basslines like they’re sentences she knows she doesn’t need to complete; they wear their melodicism as if it’s beside the point. She takes the opposite approach to her singing in “What Me Worry?”, luxuriating in the words, her rich tone turned away from the competing stabs and scrapes. Gaines has written about the particular marginalization she’s experienced as a Black woman in indie rock, a position that forces her to maintain a kind of steeliness to survive, and she seems to channel that same steeliness here, with good reason. “When did I agree to this,” she wonders in the chorus, after quoting the title of Nina Simone’s 1964 song “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” A classic in Simone’s hands, it was a massive single the next year for rockers the Animals, who had already hit No. 1 with their version of the blues song “House of the Rising Sun.” It’s a canny reference that suggests the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame isn’t the only place where Black contributions to rock music’s development go unnoticed. Like Simone, Gaines sounds both resigned to and empowered by the idea that her only hope is to express herself clearly.

The candy-colored chaos of Andrew’s “People Watching” remix notwithstanding, Nothing You Do Matters suggests a deep connection between artist and producer. Like Liars, Ganser know that an otherwise-innocuous set of notes can begin to sound terrifying if it’s repeated enough, just as they’ve always confronted dread by making themselves more dreadful. On this EP, the stakes Ganser find themselves up against have grown, but so has their ability to define and answer to them. As the world becomes more chaotic, their defiance grows more elegant.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ganser - Nothing You Do Matters EP Music Album Reviews Ganser - Nothing You Do Matters EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 21, 2022 Rating: 5


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