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More Gorgeous

Air Date: 08-03-15

More Gorgeous knew things weren't working, and there was only one possible solution: Get less gorgeous.

The group's 2013 full-length debut Escape from Terror Beach saw the then-quartet putting on all sorts of ambitious airs, with wooshy sounds, pretty melodies, bouncy keyboards--the kind of thing people with interesting beards would probably listen to and somberly compare to an Elvis Costello B-side you've never heard of and suspect might not exist.

Flash forward to 2015. The group has slimmed down to a power trio and things are different. The sound is leaner, meaner, louder, and they want you to know they give the minimum amount of fucks this time around. The guitars are bigger, the melodies aren't so pretty, the attitude is downright audacious and the songs are just so, so loud you guys, I cannot stress how loud they are. And it all came about in a very organic way.

"We've definitely adopted a more confrontational, snotty attitude," says singer and guitarist Alex Brittain. "It was a natural progression--or regression--depending on how you look at it. We wanted to channel some of the rage that comes with being a frustrated artist in an independent band without compromising things like rhythm and melody.

Mortgages, the band's second LP, was mastered by Bob Weston, who has certainly earned his share of punk rock cachet, having been a member of Mission Of Burma and Shellac and a co-engineer on Nirvana's most punk album, In Utero, which you probably didn't even like when it came out. Frequent collaborator Don Bates recorded and mixed the songs and is the reason moments like "Modern American Nihilist" sound so modern and so nihilistic.

Songs like "Red Rover (Send Love Right Over)" are loud and abrasive, with few redeeming qualities beyond sheer, overwhelming awesomeness. You could probably tell them that one sounds like Arctic Monkeys, to which they'd probably respond "Stop telling us things."

But if you don't like Arctic Monkeys, calm down, okay? It doesn't even sound that much like it, and other songs totally sound like other things. Mostly titans of the alternative underground and all the best art-punk pioneers. "Home Alone," for example, sounds like the Buzzcocks, probably. And "Blame" probably sounds something like Killing Joke, which is a band you've definitely heard of but that's probably it, so you won't be able to question that comparison without exposing your lack of credibility.

The guys also know technical stuff about music, which is evidenced by the fact that these songs are actually good, which probably can't be said about those other songs you're listening to. You know--the precious indie-pop produced by a lanky man hiding behind wayfarers and a laptop and a witchy woman with a microphone and a floor tom who would rather model the latest "festival fashion" than coo her lazy lyrics. More Gorgeous knows how to keep things interesting. They know when to just have one person sing and when it sounds cooler to have all the people sing.

So buy a copy of their new record from your favorite big-box retailer and play it for your mom--she'll love the band's name almost as much as she loves the caustic noise-rock explosion it delivers. Then buy another copy for yourself, crank the volume and let the adrenaline flow. 

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