Guerilla Toss
Famously Alive


4.2
excellent

Review

by robertsona STAFF
September 18th, 2022 | 13 replies


Release Date: 03/25/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Guerilla Toss are here to please as many ears as possible while still retaining their bona fides and roots in psychedelic music and noise rock.

The early music of the Boston band Guerilla Toss was raucous, discordant, bassy–roughshod post-punk skronk that would never draw a large audience but which could consistently bust the doors off a Boston DIY venue with no regard for human life. Now, with 2022’s Famously Alive, they find their restless instincts settling on a sound that is decidedly “pop” at its core: catchy, repetitive melodies, groovy drum machine rhythms, and a polychromatic sheen of psychedelic synths and vocal effects that emphasize Guerilla Toss’ arty aspirations while remaining eminently pleasurable to the Billboard-trained ear.

Famously Alive, with its intense opening drone, hints lightly at the cacophony of early releases like 2013’s Gay Disco, but the album is pretty much smooth sailing throughout, from “Cannibal Capital”’s roving-detective bassline and digital-maracas shuffle to “Excitable Girls” considerably more vivid stomper of an acoustic guitar riff. Guerilla Toss are here to please as many ears as possible while still retaining their bona fides and roots in psychedelic music and noise rock; the result is goddamn dialectical, the two tendencies sustaining and providing counterpoint to the other. Guerilla Toss were always good, but Famously Alive offers the most satisfying music of their career thus far.

Though none of them strikes one as an unadulterated masterpiece, nine of the ten songs on Famously Alive are somewhat to entirely great, and there’s a bounty of bright and bouncy melodic ideas filtered through wonderfully effervescent production. I dunno what to tell you if you aren’t infected with a bit of the album’s exuberant spirit when you hear the ripples of synthesizer fireworks in the climax of “Free Exponential,” or the moment “Pyramid Humm” transforms from a floating carnival show of synth organ to a genuinely sexy and sassy straight-ahead groover. “Who do you see when you look beyond raw now?”, lead singer Cassie Karlson (a superlative force) asks of the listener, and while she probably refers to the overwhelming power of recent crisis to cloud our sense of self, she also unintentionally proffers a question about how Guerilla Toss sounds: synthetic, Auto-Tuned to light abstraction, kaleidoscopic yet retaining a coherent sonic shape, Famously Alive’s lava-lamp glow might track as garish to old fans and new skeptics. But look beyond raw, now, and see the fun there is to be had in the world of the hyperreal, the uncanny, a land of crystal castles and claws made of candy. Enter that world; let it enter you; consult therein the magic mirror. You might like who you see.



Recent reviews by this author
Dettinger IntershopNew Buffalo The Last Beautiful Day
12 Rods Lost Timethanks for coming no problem
JPEGMAFIA LP! (offline)Moon Kissed I’d Like to Tell You Something Important
user ratings (29)
3.6
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 18th 2022


23780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

great album. 9/10 great songs

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2022


50461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh yeah this came out!!

GT Ultra was kinda ok, will hear this

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2022


23780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this is prob my second favorite album of the yera all told lol but I've heard like 12

Purpl3Spartan
September 19th 2022


5026 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Glad this finally got a review



Was loving this for a hot sec when it released

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 19th 2022


23780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

it's just so easy to listen to.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2022


28813 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Opener on this is so good.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2022


50461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this was good but felt like it could have been really great - stuff like the t/t absolutely has the right hooks, but never really kicks off in the way the band obviously have the techniques for. band needs some of that Pom Poko/Sleigh Bells bombast



Mermaid Airplane and the closer were the two where it kinda came together kapow

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2022


23780 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

the album never 100% takes off ("no masterpieces" etc.) but I've listened to it so much that I can't give it an AOTY runner-up nod. I like almost every song equally. the weak one is "happy me". "mermaid airplane" is very sing-song-y but yeah really comes together. "pyramid humm," "live exponential," "excitable girls" some of my favs

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
September 20th 2022


50461 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yh i was all ready to write Mermaid Airplane off for its Chainsmokers nod, but mmmdamn it kicked in

TheManMachine
September 20th 2022


132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

last track is one of my most played this year

ArsMoriendi
September 22nd 2022


37658 Comments


Not my jam, but I've seen 'em live

brandontaylor
September 22nd 2022


1216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review for this, definitely deserved one. this was a little more straightforward than the last two albums but these guys definitely dont miss

pizzamachine
September 23rd 2022


19399 Comments


Eye catching art



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy