Gang Gang Dance: God's Money

Gang Gang Dance: God's Money

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Gang Gang Dance

Album: God's Money
Label: The Social Registry
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Gang Gang Dance

Album: God's Money
Label: The Social Registry

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As more and more bands circle the same old epoch that's been resurrected as the Now Sound, it's important to remember that post-punk was more than just rock with disco beats. That was a key element, to be sure, but it doesn't account for the movement's exploratory gestures—the ambitious drift that gave pent-up punk a wandering eye and an ear for exoticism.

Gang Gang Dance has both. Skulking underground with small-run albums and a growing live reputation, the New York group has fluttered through a number of different styles, all of them grounded in earthy electronics and ethereal swirls of rhythm. The pieces don't always fit and the fusion is markedly raw, but Gang Gang Dance serves up an exciting sense that it's groping for sounds it can't quite capture—a phenomenon more faithful to post-punk ideology than the oppressive competence of bands like Bloc Party and Franz Ferdinand.

God's Money doesn't supply the charge of Gang Gang Dance's live shows, but it does deliver their mystery. The album starts off with a murky trail of tribal drums dotted by whinnying vocal cries. The trills of Liz Bougatsos are sure to raise a few eyebrows—she sings like Kate Bush gone goth—but they work as pure sound more than vocals per se. In "Glory In Itself," she echoes the pitch of sine-wave electronics, which fit between notes of spotty lead guitar. The parts are distinctive, yet hard to isolate in a sonic spread given to blurring and bleeding. That flow gives God's Money the feel of an ambient album angled dangerously close to New Age at times, but its relaxed moods spike through cacophonous drum runs and noise blasts culled from industrial/celestial dreams. It's shabby and imaginative, the sound of a band chasing post-punk ideas that aren't prepackaged from the past.

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