Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Cassette Review: Druids of the Gue Charette "Deep in the Woods E.P."
[€5 // Edition of 50 // https://druidsoftheguecharette.bandcamp.com/album/deep-in-the-woods-e-p]
I was not sure what to expect with a name like Druids of the Gue Charette but if this was a bunch of monks chanting it wouldn't surprise me. Remember back in the 1990's when those monks chanting became a number one selling CD? I was kind of thinking along those same lines except I never actually heard those other monks before but still thought it'd be a lot of "ohms" and "ahhhs". Oddly enough, to me, this is bit of rock n roll and not monks nor chanting at all. I guess I need to look up the precise defitions of a Druid so my mind stops going to monks, though if this band was named for its genre I'm pretty sure it would simply be called "The Druids".
This opens with psych guitars and Mr. T Experience with a classic rock blend. "In the Garden of Eden" comes to mind and then it kicks nicely on the chorus with a little bit of The Lot Six coming out as well. Although the guitar is clean it feels like it should be fuzzy from the vibes I'm getting otherwise within the music. It's also somewhat aggressive in its delivery and that is not a bad thing. The next song has elements of surf to it- including some killer guitar riffs- and then the third and final song on Side A is psych with labored vocals and they even give out a "Yow!" which is cool. When I say the vocals are labored I mean that they kind of stutter or get choppy in their delivery-- it's something I can't fully explain because I haven't really heard it done before.
On the flip side we have two songs, though the second and final overall is an alternate version of the first song which I think is a great thing to do on an EP. Thinking of this as a four song EP is not going to bring it down so if you decide to have the fifth track be a different version of an earlier song it just seems to add to the value of the EP especially as it might relate to a future full length. The last song is spoken word and soft guitars to start and then the guitars kick in fully. It's a ballad along the lines of The Velvet Underground but then it goes into something screamy, defiant. It reminds me of Silent Drive in that way, if you listen to one of their sort of ballads. Spoken words also come back to end the song.
Druids of the Gue Charette are quite possibly the best blend of psychedelic classic rock and modern garage fuzz that I have ever heard. Bands either have too much classic rock and not enough modern in them or vice versa, but Druids of the Gue Charette somehow have found the balance between the two (and it's not 50/50) that just works and make you feel as much like you're listening to something from the early days of cassettes (and even before that, with records and 8track) and the somewhat more modern cassette revival which was only within the last decade or so. The fact that you can hear these two things at once without really realizing it- because it's not like the song stops and goes modern when it's classic, it just flows and blends so seemlessly- just goes to show you how truly amazing and special this cassette is and will be for time to come.