Ganglians - Still Living

Album cover
Psychedlic Pop
Lefse Records
Ganglians
Still Living
Ganglians - Still Living Review rating:
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Ganglians plays out as if a group of kids in the basement decided to jangle away at their instruments just for the purpose of what the hell, let’s do something. A cloud of heavy psychedelic covers along with tons of reverb warp Still Living with a pop chorus to liven up the experience even more. What truly separates the experience for listeners is the vast hopping the group depends on: heavy elements of psychedelic, 60’s garage rock, even early 60’s surfer pop. Even if it should sound like a mess, the Ganglians make it work to their advantage, most notably the vocals that elevate with every refrain.

Refreshingly, the take that Ganglians give isn’t dampened by an overpowering sense of traditional distortion from the reverb that is consistently presented, instead their poppy side melds with the esoteric psychedelic that is given off thoroughly Still Living. “Evil Weave,” charms its way with capricious vocal performance as “Sleep,” lazily crawls with manic shouts to ruffle the monotone, eventually the crackly high-pitched delivery is brought about with a familiar chorus, but the way it storms is exceptionally done.

Essentially, the Ganglians add a lot of variety within the space of 55 minutes, blending the murkiness of psychedelic with the brightness of pop. They still present the same watered down electronics that marked their debut, but Still Living remains much more refined in its execution. Every melody as drenched with echoing guitar work and pop goodness, which is why the album begins to lose its distinction. It becomes more peculiar in every rendition; the album in time becomes a single embodiment of the Ganglian sound because, well, it is distinctly them. The melodies manifest with reverb to the point you’d expect them to be in the next track. Still Living is a free-form type of experience, where precision and technicality take a backseat to independence and what has come naturally. Sure, the earlier vision of Ganglians may have been more aimlessly wandering about then actually laying a direction to their sound, but this go around you will find some sort of semblance for direction within Still Living.

What is realized within Still Living is the distinctions begin to disappear with each passing song. The yelps upon “Jungle,” are another reminder that the Ganglians are just having lots of enjoyment and ultimately it gets to the point where you won’t be able to not sing-a-long. Surely, an aim for the band because this type of circus like chorus’ and the hazy genre affirmation declarations after you pass 20 minutes isn’t something you can hold back on. Ganglians’ latest release carries out each proposed element well. The drifty and sluggishly built “Bradley” or even “California Cousins’” in its simplicity and homage to the Beach Boys; And the traditional energetic psychedelic “Faster” bring about enough to mark improvement for a band that seem to know where they’re headed. Ganglians are bringing about a balance to their work, where as Still Living should feel cluttered and tangled, in its place you’ll get mellow and flexible tunes.

1. Drop The Act
2. That's What I Want
3. Evil Weave
4. Sleep
5. Jungle
6. Bradley
7. Things To Know
8. Good Times
9. The Toad
10. California Cousins
11. Faster
12. My House

It's a chorus of voices, a lot of reverb echo, some electronics of the messed up cheap variety, or toy pianos. It's far away...a little underwater. A lot of noise and yelling, a garage a thon, sounds recorded live in that way that most live stuff doesn't come close to. From Sacramento, CA

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