There?s something about the stumbling blunt-skull damage that The Goslings conjure that?s as sensual as a tornado in springtime. This husband/wife duo of Max and Leslie Soren (with contributions from a few friends, including Neddal from The Does) likes to play in the mud. They like to roll around in it and get grimy. This sort of primitive (anti)rock is not the easiest thing to pull off. Looks great on paper?combine the most basic elements of psychedelic throb-rockers (Blue Cheer and Stooges among them) with a post modern, post shoegaze perspective. What is dreampop? What is garage rock? What is bottom end sludge? Who cares? Let?s rock!
Well The Goslings care and they don?t at the same time. With ?Grandeur of Hair,? they bring drone sludge out of the living room and onto a five story Imax screen. It is a MASSIVE, rumbling, stumbling noise rock affair that picks up where last year?s very fine self-released ?Between the Dead? left off.
As mentioned above, DA STOOGES are probably the first aural signpost that darkens the gray matter when confronted with the molten lava crush of opener ?Own a Car? with its distortion waves crashes and fem vocal wailing overhead. The mighty Skullflower, back when they were closer to heavy metal than free jazz, comes to mind, and the mechanized drone-metal of Godflesh (praise to thee) at their most cosmically oppressed. The 10 min ?Overnight? is a haunted slice of charred sludge hypnosis that offers endless flights of mind-numbing bludgeon cum transcendence. In a way this music is doomed, but it is not doom. The fidelity is so distorted and raw that sometimes it sounds like a vacuum cleaner is used in place of rhythm guitar, yet vocals might just be the real ?innovation? here. Both Leslie and Max sing their broken hope dreams and damaged prophecies with writhing, sun kissed fury and deep down longing. There is no irony or piss-take here?no detachment?just pure sonic exorcism.
Whether probing the eye of the storm or getting lost in tangled strands of overgrown chaos, The Goslings reveal the grim beauty of pure rhythmic sound and the ever-present desire to rise above. ?Grandeur of Hair? is yet another notch in their belt of deconstructed catharsis, and for all its sonic difficulty it makes for a surprisingly accessible listen. 8/10 -- Lee Jackson (16 October, 2006)