29 Jan 2019

Gum Takes Tooth's 'Arrow' in The Quietus's New Weird Britain monthly round-up

They say:

...This brings me to Arrow, the third album by Gum Takes Tooth and their first for Rocket Records. Other statistics and superlatives: their first release since 2014’s Mirrors Fold; by no means compact at 54 minutes, with several tracks tickling or surpassing the seven-minute mark; the most dance-oriented, intense offering yet by this London-based duo of Jussi Brightmore and Tom Fugelsang, and their most satisfying. The beats are played live, courtesy of Fugelsang, and as much as he’s a fine and groove-beholden batteur you’d never mistake his contribution for that of a machine. You can dance to it, though, as surely as you can mentally climb inside Brightmore’s synth lines and wallow blissfully.

A tasty acid house roll takes charge on ‘No Walls, No Air’, abetted towards its close by some Drew McDowall-ish drone work. ‘Borrowed Lies’ is an eight-minute percussion-powered glitter-rave-rock stomp with industrial-pop synths and choral vocals. ‘Fights Physiology’ reveals me as a misinfo-ing bullshitter, in that the drums sound very much programmed, although I’m pretty sure the human element is just a sampled snare hit or two amidst a minimal synth-meets-Detroit electro frother.

There’s lots more: passages of wormy ambience and doomy rock riffs except made without guitars and mushroom-flavoured shoegazey gauze. Fleeting moments, such as on the closing ‘House Built Of Fire’, remind me of the Super Furry Animals’ most electronic moments (‘Run! Christian Run!’, say), which I mean as a compliment. By and large, Gum Takes Tooth do not write pop songs, or indeed rock ones, and I doubt (m)any of Arrow’s component parts will end up in club-bound DJ sets. But people will cut a rug to them this year and maybe you will join them.

See the full piece here: The Quietus