When I reviewed experimental, indie, post punk quintet Geese`s debut album `Projector` eighteen months ago I said it was a compelling listen and at times became quite challenging but oddly appealing in so many ways that I can`t seem to put into words. They release their latest opus `3D Country` this month and for me little has changed.
The album opens with `2122` and it`s just under four minutes of mayhem with singer Cameron Winter sounding like a demented preacher. It rolls along with a kind of stoner vibe with Cameron channelling his inner Jim Morrison and young Mick Jagger over crashing guitars which stop and start on route. As the number evolves, we get everything fired at us from descending guitar riffs to what sounds like a banjo with shrieking vocals hailing “get out and get under.” Title track `3D Country` has intricate guitar chord riffs along with some captivating gospel like harmonies allowing a platform for the singer to share his stream of conciseness-tinged message. It becomes pretty trippy towards the conclusion.
`Cowboy Nudes` is bluesy with an irregular beat but rapidly shared percussive rhythms that snakes off here and there. I read somewhere that the song is about life getting better, and more fun, after the end of the world. We have a more reflective soulful gospel ballad with `I See Myself` which the singer has claimed was inspired by his favourite Funkadelic songs.
`Undoer` has a jazz soul funk jam experimental feel about it and runs to around seven minutes in length. It`s not quite Return to Forever or Weather Report but heads that way. Towards the end is becomes much more psychedelic ending up in a cacophony of noise. The opening to `Crusades` sounds like the opening to David Bowie`s `Heroes` prior to it becoming a more straightforward indie ear worm.
`Gravity Blurs` is a slow burn bluesy composition with a sense of pleading insistency in the vocal delivery. The frontman has explained that `Mysterious Love` “is about a dozen ’90s rock cliches mixed into one little over-produced package. We like the contrast in mood between the first and second halves.” It`s a fairly mesmerising quite hypnotic listen where I have to say that I couldn`t discern two separate halves.
`Domoto` is apparently a Japanese surname. The track has a deep Nick Cave like vocal before veering towards a higher pitch ala Jeff Buckley. Musically it’s a bit of a merry-go-round and turns off in all directions as it spins with ballad or torch sensibilities with a retro touch. We have an indie vibe on `Tomorrow`s Crusades` which tries its best to become eclectic and ends with a lot of shrieking and shouting akin to the late Jim Morrison.
The album closes out with `St Elmo` which is a chugging, angular composition with what appears to be an inner monologue that is shared atop. As Saint Elmo was the patron saint of sailors maybe it`s Geese`s own homage to a sea shanty or chanty, who knows.
`3D Country` i`m sure will divide opinions as it’s a pretty varied and at times uneasy listen. I would again maintain that if you enjoy bands like Wire, Gomez, A Certain Ratio and dEUS you`ll enjoy Geese.
Geese are different and their music can sound fairly forced as if they want to sound unique even cruising towards unlistenable but to me that makes them even more compelling and intriguing. They are a rare breed who maybe don`t realise that they can sound pretty provocative at times.
Long may they push the envelope.
Rating 8.5 / 10