Gaytheist
Hold Me... But Not So Tight


3.9
excellent

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
June 21st, 2013 | 51 replies


Release Date: 05/21/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A clever take on the growing alienation of the Digital Age built around blistering noise rock.

It seems impossible to start the conversation about Portland's Gaytheist without addressing their polarizing name. Whether you find it hilarious or not, there's a meaning behind this cleverly coined phrase that clearly references the group's smartly dressed main man Jason Rivera. Gaytheist don't take themselves too seriously though. The trio's winning formula for a song reads: “Jason has a quick story to tell, and must do so over rad riffs.” That appropriately sums up their happy-go-lucky attitude, yet the fact that Rivera's sarcastic lyrics are accompanied with a dazzling combination of styles shouldn't go unnoticed. The outfit fuses the filth and fast tempos of garage punk with the overbearing heaviness of sludge metal to thrilling effect. Rivera makes this mesh-up accessible with high-pitched vocals that oscillate between noise rock fury and sheer pop. Even though Gaytheist are stylistically rather dissimilar from Torche, both bands share the love for bright, pop-inflicted melodies.

Hold Me... But Not So Tight feels like a companion piece to last year's amazing Stealth Beats. Boasting 12 songs in less than 26 minutes, that record was a brazen exercise in efficient song craft that amazed with deft precision and no-frills, gonzo approach. The frenetic drumming of Nick Parks and the sludgy bass lines of Tim Hoff provided a perfect backdrop for Rivera's guitar acrobatics. The new album effectively replicates this style, coloring it with more focused, topical lyrics. In the 34-second opener “Starring in ‘The Idiot,’” Rivera confesses to feeling simultaneously “surrounded and desperately alone,” introducing a record whose trenchant critique is pointed at the growing alienation of the Digital Age. “60 Easy Payments” follows suit, mocking the consumerist yearning for “the latest gadget-y, gizmo-y gobbledygook,” whereas “MANhattan” depicts an utopian vision of metropolis where people refuse to speak to one another, anxious of interrupting their tweets.

The tunes come and go at a rapid pace, bursting with strong grooves, memorable hooks and unexpected flourishes. The brevity prevents many of these cuts from going on too long, making for a truly visceral listen. However, on a couple of occasions it does seem like the musical idea could have been more fleshed out and further developed. The fact that the most ravishing track on the album clocks in more than 4 minutes is the best proof. “Spread 'Em” feels restless with its ingenious transitions which revolve around a plethora of bombastic riffs. The number's so grand in scope that oddly reminisces Tool with its gargantuan onslaught. What's more, it shows that Gaytheist's potential still remains largely untapped. Hold Me... But Not So Tight certainly sees the trio growing in maturity with its timely lyrical theme. Although the album doesn't exactly match the manic energy of its predecessor, the trio's distinctly melodic spin on noise rock remains intensely pleasurable.




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user ratings (22)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Their albums are streaming over at bandcamp:

http://gaytheist.bandcamp.com/album/stealth-beats

http://gaytheist.bandcamp.com/album/hold-me-but-not-so-tight

They're also avialble on spotify.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

Motiv3
June 21st 2013


8939 Comments


So wait, this is real?

ViperAces
June 21st 2013


12466 Comments


artist name rocks

antigravity
June 21st 2013


522 Comments


sweet name

bakkermaarten007
June 21st 2013


3601 Comments


atheists are gay lol

oltnabrick
June 21st 2013


31117 Comments


Can't wait to listen to this

Digging: Drake - 6 God

Xenophanes
Emeritus
June 21st 2013


10614 Comments


That cover

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Fans of noise rock and sludge shouldn't be disappointed to say the least.

These guys have a track about Human Centipede. How can you possibly top that?

bakkermaarten007
June 21st 2013


3601 Comments


I'll probably check this out, but only since it's a staff review. In any other circumstances I would
have seen this as an attempt of trolling =)

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Cool. I don't know if it's your thing though.

ncguitar
June 21st 2013


2430 Comments


Gaytheist - Piece Of Cock

firewasp
June 21st 2013


62 Comments


you hit the nail on the head when you singled out "spread em"

the songwriting gets much better in the second half imo

greg84
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

You're right. I do dig The Restoration and 60 Easy Payments though.

I prefer their previous record to this tbh.

bloc
June 21st 2013


34927 Comments


Band name, album cover, and tracklist make me think this is awful

loveisamixtape
June 21st 2013


6120 Comments


band name is awesome

halloway
June 21st 2013


684 Comments


"Band name, album cover, and tracklist make me think this is awful."

I 100% disagree with all of the above.

antigravity
June 21st 2013


522 Comments


i'm a gaytheist

jefflebowski
June 21st 2013


8253 Comments


best band name in history

NeoSpaz
June 21st 2013


4519 Comments


sweet

plane
Staff Reviewer
June 22nd 2013


6094 Comments


That cover is awesome



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