Thursday, June 4

Double EP Review: The Gaa Gaas & The James Dean Syndrome



The Gaa Gaas and The James Dean Syndrome use the same ingredients - garage riffs, sarcastic post-punk yelps, and a psychedelic tinge - but cook very different meals on these two releases. Brighton's Gaa Gaas have a very simple approach to making their riotous punk racket: why use two riffs when you can use one, over and over again, for upwards of four minutes? It works on the title track of We Are All Pop Stars!, probably the best here (the organ and guitar seem to have bludgeoned and burrowed their way into your skull by the time the song ends with an abrupt yelp) and it works on 'Look The Other Way', which sounds a bit like a lost Neils Children track. Elsewhere there's a little more variety: 'When I'm On My Own' is a psychedelic mini-epic with a saxophone cameo from Luke Georgiou of Twisted Charm (remember them?) and 'The One Eye'd Stranger' has a sort of jazzy lilt to it. This isn't fashionable and it isn't particularly original, but what it does have going for it is a hell of a lot of energy and a good sense of humour, two things which have been a little lacking in some of the music around at the moment.

Not so, though, in Kingston-upon-Hull. The James Dean Syndrome's Experimental Numbers2 comes across with its ferocious vocals and psychedelic guitar like Mark E. Smith fronting Barrett-era Floyd - the sixties vibe is strongest on 'Extracts from Belargeo Bar' (check the sitar) but it works best when it works with the garage riffs and post-punk chanting on 'Witch' and 'What's That Sound?'. TJDS have been called 'Britain's reply to White Denim', which isn't far off the mark, and this release bodes well for future efforts. One complaint: this EP seems a little cobbled together, the sound quality and volume varying from track to track. Nonetheless, worth more than one listen.

We Are All Pop Stars is available for purchase from; Experimental Numbers2 is due for digital release in July/August.

1 comment:

Maéva T. said...

(we do remember them)