I have been postponing to write this review for weeks now. How are you going to describe music as complex and brilliantly played as Gastric Band manages to do on their debut EP Party Feel? Do I have the words and the vocabulary to do this EP justice? I’d be better off to just say “listen to this with your own ears and prepare to be pleasantly blown away”. And to make things worse (for me that is), I have had this EP loaded on my iPod for months now as the band released it through Bandcamp around a year ago. Luckily Armellodie Records jumped upon the chance to release this on CD. And it is a must have for any music fan out there; this EP should be proudly part of any serious music collection. Why you might ask?
Well, this instrumental 5-piece consists of members and ex-members of Super Adventure Club, Secta Rouge and Jackie Treehorn (sadly R.I.P.), three bands with a massive reputation in Scotland and most likely outside the Scottish borders as well. These 5 musicians are probably the 5 most talented and technically gifted musicians in Scotland at the moment; they sure know how to play their instruments, which could make any other musician (such as me) jealous or at least hugely impressed.
Musically Gastric Band jumps from avant-garde jazz to progressive rock to electronica to math rock. Bruce, Jack, Kami, Ross and Ricki effortlessly mix these genres together, making them flow and interesting and most importantly making them extremely exciting. Gastric Band utilises two drummers (Ross and Ricki) and whereas other bands doing the same have two drummers playing the same rhythm simultaneously, Gastric Band have them play completely different bits throughout most of Party Feel. And it works, as demonstrated nicely in the track ‘Sexy Grandad’. Add the jazzy played guitar parts, the complex rhythms and the electronics, stylophone and samples adding lots of variety and melody, this EP is one of the most exciting releases I have ever seen coming out of Scotland (and there have been a lot over the years).
If you like your music rhythmically complex, progressive and experimental, then please give these guys a listen. I beg you and I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed. Just for their sense of humour I recommend this highly. I mean, with song titles such as ‘Dustin Binman’ and ‘Brad Shitt’ you can’t go wrong. And I haven’t even started on the band name and the cover image yet…
Bands like Gastric Band make me proud to be part of the Scottish music scene.