15 Oct 2015
Normans gives Gnoomes Ngan! a 9/10 review
For better or worse, psych rock looks over the horizon. Western bands absorb the musical customs of cultures they’ve never belonged to, mix up different phenomenas and stir them together ‘til they’re all one mushy conglomerate. Contain a bunch of disjointed ideas in swirling riffs and an inescapable echospace and you’ve got a show, right? In recent years, a host of bands have used different cultural versions of psychedelia for aesthetic purposes, so it’s nice to see a band like Gnoomes, who seek to connect their own heritage with others. Hailing from Perm -- a cut-off Russian city used as a place of exile for rebels in the 19th century -- they attempt to create music around isolation, around what it feels like to be a thousand odd miles from centre of things.
‘Ngan!’ is a gorgeous but strangely anonymous record, using psychedelic hypnosis as a crutch but texture as expression; unlike a lot of this year’s psych jammers, it feels like Gnoomes are trying to communicate songwriter truths, often invoking a plaintive dream pop to go with the space music; not only lyrics, but the heartbroken harmonies that carry their weight. The record’s opener, “Roadhouse”, stretches through elegiac guitars into a more standard-fare bout of psych interplay, but it seeks resounding melodies rather than sore repetition...
Read the full review here: Normans