The most rewarding explorations are those which challenge and push your limits whilst covering them in a simultaneously organic and deliberately sculpted seduction. One such testing experience comes in the striking shape of Ten Metres Per Second Per Second, the new release from self-penned noisybastard instrumental rock band, Parachute For Gordo. The trio from Aldershot in the UK take senses and imagination on a helter skelter of adventure and emotions, through a tempest of noise and melodic invention which persistently immerses and antagonises senses across its numerous evocative soundscapes. It is also a collection of tracks which are as much at home providing fun fuelled revelry as they are at inciting shadows and dangers within sound and emotions. The band does not provide a necessarily easy passage into the depths of their imagination and sound but boy is it thrillingly rewarding.
Parachute for Gordo consists of guitarist Laura Lee, bassist John Harvey, and Johnny Somersett on drums. Formed in 2012 the project initially was simply a live provocation, one soon drawing acclaim and a greedy following across Hampshire and Surrey. Ten Metres Per Second Per Second is the band’s second EP/album, following the five track debut Eight Minutes Of Weightlessness of 2012. The new release was recorded live across a mere three hours bringing the heart and intense presence of the band in person powerfully into the tracks making up the proposition.
The opening Bandage Of Scat instantly wraps the ears in a dark ambience, haunted vocal hums and distressed harmonies adding to the brewing shadows. The track fully envelops and smothers the senses before a rhythmic dance of schizophrenic beats and unpredictable urgency adds its bait to the darkly mesmeric piece. It is a sinister and slightly uncomfortable start which immediately awakens the imagination and an intrigued appetite for the impending ventures. That brewing hunger is instantly given a compelling feast of noise and experimental rock with the following I Offered You A Small Dog In The Kitchen. A rhythmic and vocal ‘chorus’ makes the first invitation before the clean and impressing guitar intrigue of Lee casts a melodic and descriptive sonic design, one elegant and precise but not lacking a sense of punk seeded incitement either. The bass of Harvey brings a darker throat to the stroll of the song whilst the rhythmic contagion of Somersett grips and leads instincts to embrace the developing creative drama with extra relish. The first two minutes of the song sees the band weave in jazzy and punk essences into post rock and noise soaked influences, that adventurous stance taking on more intense melodic metal and progressive traits the further the song flirts and romances with the imagination.
10,000 Bay Leaves In A Koala Bears Mouth slowly unveils its emotive narrative from a slowly materialising ambience of lonely whispers and stark textures. As the guitar casts its evocative web with grace and skill and the bass skirts with its own distinct shadows, the song evolves into a stronger forceful picture upon a sinew built rhythmic canvas. A spoken sample adds to the noir kissed breath of the piece, whilst sonic endeavour lights the fuse to mental and emotional interpretation. All the tracks inspire self-visualisation and reflection for their often meandering but always controlled and thoughtful suggestiveness, with this one of the most inciting as melancholic and starkly lit scenes are conjured within a similarly colourful wind of hope and scenic expression.
Decoy Octopus is easily the best track on the release, its eager stomp of rhythmic agitation and sonically hued flirtation an infectious and impossibly irresistible flight. Awash with colour rich melodies and watching dark shadows provided by the bass, the piece is a festival of movement and thought, musically and emotionally. As the post punk like dance of the song raises its temptation and intensity, the heady and impossibly appealing mix sparks thoughts of KingBathmat meets eighties instrumental funk/indie band Mouth? to spring up.
The release is completed by The Labrasaga, a sixteen minute soundscape of enterprise, mischief, and adventure made up of two parts which flow together for one expansive journey. Part I: Labrador Deceiver also takes its lead from a searching ambience before a dialling tone marks the springboard for a concussive belt of riffs, drums, and bass provocation. They then relax for vocals to add their bait, their rare appearance on song and release as ever providing texture and colour. Across its length and through Part II: LabraDoodlebug, the scenery musically climbs mountains and prowls valleys, taking ears and thoughts on an inspirational and satisfying investigation. The whole piece is a little too long to be honest though there is never a moment where mind and attention wanders away.
Ten Metres Per Second Per Second is released physically via Rose Coloured Music, including a special limited edition 12” red vinyl wrapped in the fine artwork of an artist local to the band, Karina Fraser. It is also digitally available from the band as a name your own price offering, providing two extra tracks, Give Up, Break! featuring Alyx Jones and Entropy Is Not What It Used To Be. The pair are both appealing, acoustically driven songs with full vocals; folk bred tracks which add another aspect to the creativity of the band. Parachute For Gordo and their counter is an at times demanding proposition but equally a richly promising and mightily enjoyable one, a challenge all noise and rock fans should take an intensive look at.
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