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Gauntlet Hair – Stills album review

A global population of around 7 billion people means that the genre Noise Pop must have a healthy number of followers, and it would also seem likely that the Noise Pop duo, Gauntlet Hair, has a number of people who are fans of their music (there may even be one or two people who like their name!, crazy I know). So, what is Noise Pop, who are Gauntlet Hair and why should you listen to their latest release, Stills? Noise Pop is actually an easy genre to describe, its not quite noisy pop, it’s actually more pop with noise: Gauntlet Hair are members Craig Nice and Andy Rauworth who enjoy making pop tracks and mixing noise into them; and finally you should also check out their new album because it not only contains some catchy songs with pop, but they all have interesting noise mixed into them! Listening to Stills is not entirely different than walking by a construction site with one earbud in playing some indie pop, while a black sedan passes by with tinted windows blaring out some heavy bass from a house track. Walk by ten different construction sites with ten different tracks loaded on your i-Cell and wait long enough for ten tricked out cars and you’ve successfully recreated the entire album (huge congrats on that by the way).

With track names such as “Spew”, “Bad Apple” and “Waste Your Art” there’s a definite sense of melancholy to the whole production. However, when you really get into the bare bones of the tracks and begin to hear some of the musicality of the album this woe feels like a fabrication. Gauntlet Hair are not a couple of depressed musicians who moved to Colorado simply because they wanted to recreationally ‘use’, no they are actually quite talented and have yet to figure out how to tame their noise down into something excellent. Their debut album was released in 2011 and had some interesting heavier tracks, Stills tunes thing up and creates a catchier more compelling album. Perhaps 2015 will be their third-times-a-charm album, until then enjoy the noise.

By Chris Bretecher

I am a traveler, music ├ęcouteur, designer, and builder of things I design (see previous trait). When not traveling, I am listening to music, designing, and building things I design (see previous activity).

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