A brutal, exhilarating record and one you should be prepared to give some welly to, speaker-wise. Gone Bald are a duo who are nothing if not driven, and their riff-led muse on Waiting it Out is almost abstract in its visceral nature.
The band’s music has that rare quality of sending the listener up the wall, in that you can feel boxed in and nervous after being assaulted by so much metal intensity. The Intro doesn’t really give much away; it’s a quick tribute to drinking wine though it hints at something Croatian I’m sure. Following that, The Art of Sideburns is a strange, jubilantly menacing collection of thrashy electric runs and off the cuff reflections. There is an agenda, and again, I’m sure it’s about Croatia, but I can’t real comment further. No matter, things work themselves up into a deliciously noisy stew about four minutes in (that’s another thing to watch out for on this album, most of these tracks don’t really “warm up” till they’re about four minutes old). Fracture of Radius is more meditative but equally crushing in parts; there’s a nice break four minutes in that allows the track to become quite elegiac by the end. The stop-start (and exhilarating) End of Symphonies sounds exactly like its title. It’s also about nine years long. Following that is the bizarre and slothful Christmas Song, a slacker lament par excellence (though I think the actual subject matter that drives this song is darker than I’m giving credit for)...
The straighter songs are showcased on the second part of the record. Vengeance is a Lazy Form of Grief starts off as a song of sorts before careering off into riff territory. It’s a powerful piece; as is Diving for Oysters, which is driven by a chugging bass line. Eddie’s Son is a mournful but powerful track seemingly with a subtext that is personal to the band. The outro is an ironic sample and brings us full circle.
You’ll be severely caned and bruised listening to this, but there’s no denying the record’s quality.