Oh hell yes — this is how I like my rock’n’roll in 2015: a clash of hot and cold, sweat and brains, adrenal glands and parasympathetic nervous system, in-the-moment abandon and knowing craftsmanship, explosive sound, a refusal of tidy resolution, drowned in reverb, more more MORE. This is the trick that Northern California garage-rockers Male Gaze pulls off on “The Shining Path.”
Especially prominent on this excellent track is the voice of guitarist Matt Jones, who croons through the racket with a baritone reminiscent of The Idiot-era Iggy Pop or (this must be said) Joy Division’s Ian Curtis. Truth be told, Male Gaze suggest the unexpected accommodation of Joy Division’s existential chill with the sturm und drang of Warsaw, their punk-era incarnation. (This is not a bad thing.) Fortunately, Male Gaze never sounds burdened by the baggage of musical history. Their forthcoming album Gale Maze taps into the infinite for 3½ minutes at a time, committed only to just getting on with it.
Gale Maze comes out March 23 on Castle Face Records.