gauntlethair

On their self-titled debut, this Colorado two-piece, with one of the worst names in living memory, took their cues from Animal Collective and Yeasayer to produce a record that took noise pop in a slightly more eccentric direction than contemporaries like No Age and Japandroids. On follow-up ‘Stills’ they’re moving down a slightly darker path; the record’s thumping, distorted percussion brings Nine Inch Nails firmly to mind.

There’s suddenly greater emphasis on synths to create stormier soundscapes than last time round, but Andy Rauworth’s thrillingly fluid guitar playing remains key. It underscores the record’s diversity, from the shimmering reverb of opener ‘Human Nature’ to the all-out groove on Bowie-esque stomper ‘Heave’. The delivery of Rauworth’s vocals remains grippingly unpredictable, ranging from blissed-out (‘New to It’) to blistering (‘G.I.D.’, ‘Waste Your Art’). Here, Gauntlet Hair have provided compelling evidence that they’re one of noise pop’s real hidden gems.