Review Summary: The Brooklyn-based duo drop their weird, catchy sophomore record
On their sophomore album, Brooklyn-based duo Buke and Gase continue to expand their brand of asymmetrical, off-putting indie rock, peppered with all sorts of infectious hooks and riffs. The sound of General Dome is that of a female-fronted, modern version of The Pop Group, relegated to playing in a garage somewhere while an 8-track, stuffed somewhere in a corner, records everything that’s being played. General Dome has this sort of loose and improvisational feel, reminiscent of a post-punk record without a whole lot of the self-righteousness and seriousness that makes so much post-punk a drag to listen to. It’s the kind of record that makes people like myself--people who are constantly switching between listening to some cult obscurity from the 80s to the newest flavor of the month--get really, really excited.
The major drawing point of General Dome is its uniquely lo-fi production, which gives an added bite and edge to many of the duo’s songs. Vocalist Arone Dyer, whose untamed yelps and varied singing is sure to draw comparisons to like-minded singers like Karen O or Braids’s Raphaelle Standell-Preston, sounds like she’s recording her vocals in a wind tunnel, straining to be heard. Aron Sanchez, who plays a guitar-bass hybrid instrument called the “gase” (Dyer plays a ukulele-hybrid called the “buke”, both of which explain the band’s ridiculous name), creates an exceptional amount of no wave-esque noise to surround Dyer’s hooks with. Sanchez’s sloppy yet propulsive riffs are rough and grimey in the best way, and wouldn’t sound out of place on a DNA or a Sonic Youth record. These two seemingly disparate parts combine in an off-putting but refreshingly rough-and-tumble way.
Most of all, General Dome is simply a good freakin’ time: there’s no denying the sheer joy behind the R&B-influenced “Metazoa”, or the snarling and minimalistic title track. Even better is “Houdini Crush”, which noisily opens like a garage rock relic, then wastes little time transitioning into a wistful, surprisingly touching ballad, with a hook that’ll bounce around in your head for a while. The messiness of the band’s prog-meets-no wave songs is undeniable, but Buke and Gase are having too much fun to really care. And trust me: their good times are infectious.