This is a review of "Wot Gorilla?" recorded by Wot Gorilla?. The review was written by Joshua Turner in 2010.
Imagine, if you will, a vast melting pot of influences, of vibrancy and deliberate musical sleight of hand, dashed together with the inventiveness of Cap 'n Jazz, the forthright post-hardcore edge of Kidcrash and the arithmetic adroitness of Seattle's Minus The Bear. Jellify this and set it to mould, the resulting sonic experience will sound rather close to Halifax's own Wot Gorilla? a band who, by their own description, sound like a 'schizophrenic patchwork not clever enough to be given the illustrious prog tag.'
Wot Gorilla? formed in late 2008, kicking out their first release - a self titled EP in the last few weeks. This record has scope and vision aplenty, sidewinding guitar tones that gradate seamlessly between the less astringent parts of an Algernon Cadwallader tune and the aforementioned Minus The Bear. Keyboardist, guitarist and lead singer Mat Haigh dispels lightly baked, harmonious vocals throughout - for me, conjuring at times an almost Head Automatica, Daryl Palumbo-esque croon, with less gravel, more tranquility.
The opening track 'We Go Way Back Like Spinal Cords And Car Seats' soars with melody from the offset, and no great effort is needed to keep the audience's attention as turn-on-a-dime drumbeats and fretboard intricacies relay more than enough flirting with the frayed edges of the American west indie-rock sound to keep my foot tapping. The four minute dreamflow of 'Qwerty' feels like a gentle caress for the most part, breaking into a partnership of diligent picking and lofty, snowfall vocals, eventually cantering to a finish.
Whether this is self indulgent music is irrelevant, the outpouring of technical proficiency does well to marry itself to the fabulous melody on offer throughout this record. The hot and sticky harmonies are by no means gimmicky, the wondrous segueing between themes steers clear of the 'verse chorus verse' pop punk snake pit, and the lyrics display a more than candid view of the world, picking up on the ever present Joy Division worship that populates much of the modern music landscape, and tailing off with poignant self reflection.
This record is self released, imbibed with enough confidence to stand tall without swallowing itself within the music. I highly recommend this, a great first outing from a group that I hope continues to impress me with their delicious brand of post hardcore-come-indie rock.