GØGGS: PRE-STRIKE SWEEP
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In The Red
Pre-Strike Sweep’s story begins to crystallize after about the eighth listen. Maybe this is just projection, and there’s no real way of knowing, but to this listener, this album produces image after image in the mind—foremost being the famous statue the Gute (The Goodness) overlooking the hollowed-out buildings of Dresden after the Allies gutted of the city. And really, that describes what’s going on here—on this second album, GØGGS are going pure id. This album is all passion, desire, aggression and instinct. It feels like standing in the backwash of a departing airliner, and abandoning anything remotely approaching self-preservation. It’s like a constant mental reel of torture and anguish thought buried, but now rediscovered in man … and the wail of knowing tha the end, despite all efforts, is near. Just listen to the mayhem of “Burned Entrance,” and its menacing guitar lines and maelstrom rhythm section. Chris Shaw—his vocals blurred for the most part—is grappling with a conceptual violence constantly threatening to become real. Charlie Moothheart, Ty Segall and Michael Anderson offer seizure-inducing symphonies of panic. Although difficult to make out some of the lyrics, Pre-Strike Sweep demands you listen, and listen repeatedly. There’s a new discovery each time. Like the pandemonium of ‘Disappear’—disorientation so total it’s like surrendering to a rip current, and thrashing the final thrash in the undertow. (But no use: you are the latest victim.) GØGGS have taken the chaotic aesthetic of the Stooges to its logical conclusion. Pre-Strike Sweep is the fraying of the mind, the knife stuck in the abdomen. It’s a virus, gnawing at you even after it’s seemingly gone. Looking for an anodyne listen? This isn’t it—this is all open wounds and existential dread. The best kind of listen.
GØGGS’ PRE-STRIKE SWEEP IS OUT FRI., SEPT. 28, ON IN THE RED RECORDS.