By Jake Paxton
True love at first listen, capillaries ablaze and perception pulverized upon the release of Guerilla Toss’ Eraser Stargazer. This record stacks vocal mania atop hypnotic rhythms and odd jams with eight solid tracks of shit that seems to have been designed to infuriate boring parents. Elements of funk, psych rock, noise jam, and proto-punk are juggled like damn chainsaws in what can only be described as a highly-terrifying, highly-sexual experience. If you are fan of intense female vocalists, you may want to break up with your significant other as Guerilla Toss frontwoman Kassie Carlson is sure to steal your eternal lust as she has mine.
Since their busy year of releases in 2013, Guerilla Toss has taken some time to construct something cerebral and intoxicating with excellent production and performance. Their record pulls from the success of such noise pop acts as St. Vincent and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, yet surpasses them with stranger dissonant instrument arrangement yet not reaching the threshold of Melt-Banana, which is far beyond anything that could be considered a potential commercial success. If you needed any proof that noise bands with chick singers simply do it best, then here you have it.
The bass player seems to be the star of the show, already fully bloomed in the opening track of the record “Multibeast TV,” and shines on every other track. With stacking filters and effects, the bass player’s style sets itself adrift from the norm within the genre. The guitar work seems to come from a completely separate realm than the pocket of the bass and drums, yet seems to fit perfectly; or perhaps like getting frustrated with two puzzle pieces when drunk and shoving them together. The vocalist shows her odd vocal prowess in tracks like “Perfume,” having an almost Bjork-like childish insanity, then seems to be able to flow in an almost spoken word format in multiple songs including the closing track “Doll Face on the Celico Highway,” a track that ends abruptly and with the same violent energy that every other track seems to.
This is a record that stands firmly with a resounding “fuck-you” to anyone who says you can’t have an album that stays at level ten until the last song. You will not find any ballads or lighter waving songs here. Listen to this if you’re into geeking out on weird time signatures: I still haven’t figured out what time signature “Big Brick” is in, but nothing one-thousand listens won’t fix. A true catastrophic masterpiece of noise awaits you, one that has surpassed the production of earlier efforts such as 2013’s Gay Disco. Turn your volume up all the way and make sure you have a backup plan for the inevitable escort from your home by livid parental units.