26 Mar 2018

Psych Insight review GNOD - Chapel Perilous

GNOD are something of a enigma for me. Looking back over their discography few can deny that there have been significant highpoints, but I have to admit not all of it has landed with me. This conundrum, I guess, comes with what seems to be a constant desire to move on, and to try something different. If you’re going to be experimental then not everyone is going to get the results all the time. So it was for me with the collective’s last album ‘Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’, an album whose sentiments of the title I could fully subscribe to, but overall felt to me just a bit too obvious and unimaginative. Don’t get me wrong I think ‘Bodies For Money’ is one of the best tracks of last year, and stands out as a high-point in the GNOD oeuvre, but while I acknowledge that the album was intended to be a stripped back statement it really didn’t strike a chord with me at all, and it is a set of tracks that I’ve come back to on more than one occasion to try to rectify.

What I guess I’m trying to say here in what is, for me, an unusually negative introduction; is that I don’t automatically assume that anything that GNOD does is going to be something that I rave over. What I will attempt to do though is approach the band’s music with as open a mind as I can… so here goes…

Well what I can say straight away is that ‘Chapel Perilous’ has had a much more immediate effect on me, it seems to me that there is much more going on here, right down to how the album has been put together. ‘Donovan’s Daughters’ is a massive fifteen minute track which opens ‘Chapel Perilous’, apparently honed through live performances during the bands long 2017 tour. Setting off simply it is not long before the hallmark GNOD guitar starts kicking in, angular and sporadic… you’re left in no doubt who this is. Then when the vocals come in I’m struck how much this iteration of the collective are indebted to post punk. There’s definitely something of the early eighties about this track… and I mean this is a good way. There’s PiL, Wire, Gang of Four… but then as ‘Donovan’s Daughters’ continues to intensity you get a sense of that being subsumed by noise to a certain extent, although the Lydonesque voice persists even though it struggles to be heard...

Read the full review: Psych Insight Music