May 11, 2016

LP: Gland - Neurotica

Gland's debut album will almost physically blow you away.

Gland is a rather mysterious punk band from New Orleans. As of right now, there isn't too much information about them on the Internet, which can be rare in this day and age. As their debut album starts, aptly named Neurotica, I am almost physically blown back by the energy. Their music is their message. I listen to each song and frequently have the volume turned up to the max in order to take in everything about their spirited, brash attitude. The topics covered in Neurotica include friendship, drugs, and simply being pissed off with a capital "P". These songs are not just screaming anarchy, but are also incredibly melodic. They're anthem-like surf rock songs that can be played and sung along with all summer long. There's an abundance of fuzzy guitar riffs and pulsing bass lines, which remind me of listening to Suicide and feeling way too cool.

Lead singer Kallie Van Tassel sings in the opening track "Cram It", “I called to say I’m always fucking right” and later shouts “I’m not crying anymore”. The atmosphere has completely changed in the quiet room in which I sit watching Judge Judy. The song is pure exhilaration that calls for destruction. There are songs that can take you on a journey and many on this album do exactly that. Close your eyes and all of a sudden you are in a Jim Jarmusch-directed scene where you and your friends are wrecking your workplace or music venue of choice (and your hair looks really cool). “You looked like idiots” and “You do it cause your self-absorbed and only think about yourself” are quickly shouted in "Bitch Mania". Kallie’s voice never wavers whether singing or screaming, even while adapting various vocal inflections. "Bitch Mania" is just one of the many songs on the album that are carried by the power of their voice. "Safe Space" and "Fuck Cops" are reminiscent of invigorating nineties scrappy punk songs, where the singer is ferociously loud and there’s purpose in the voice. On standout track "DREAM", the punching yells are followed by a slower, dreamier bit, which is an unexpected and enjoyable contrast. Neurotica embraces the anger that comes with being a woman in this world. This album is a bit of a fantasy itself in which you can shout your grievances and say exactly what you want. If you feel like you have never not been fighting enough then Neurotica will be a kind of cathartic listening experience. But it's also pure fun – there’s no room to catch your breath, one song crashes into the next and you can’t stop listening. How can you cut off the massive amount of vitality that resides inside this album? I might not know much about Gland but for a short time they kindly let me live vicariously in their anarchism and left me feeling a bit more resilient than usual.


Listen to Gland on bandcamp.

Hannah Shields is a former child prodigy and current unemployed college drop out. When she is not writing things and filming things about herself you can find her on stage talking about herself and calling it comedy.