Guerilla Toss – Eraser Stargazer (DFA Records)

Guerilla Toss – Eraser Stargazer (DFA Records)

If you want an album full of songs that sound like Lene Lovich and Bow Wow Wow‘s Annabella Lwin smashing plates angrily over each other’s heads in the kitchen after a heated row about cheesecake, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s be honest though, nobody actually DOES want one. DO they?

Multibeast TV‘, which begins Eraser Stargazer in earnest, is arguably the most commercial track here, if you could ever level such an accusation at Guerilla Toss (you can’t). “What is this?” enquired my six year old son when I fired it up for the first time, “it’s a right racket, Dad“. It’s hard to disagree with the sentiment. I did wonder if maybe, after fifteen or so listens, it might actually start to make a little more sense, like, say, Captain Beefheart‘s Trout Mask Replica – seemingly a mess of epic proportions with scant regard for convention the first dozen times you play it, but a strangely absorbing record that draws you in with each subsequent spin. But no, I’m on about my fourteenth attempt to make some kind of sense of this one, and it still just sounds like someone’s spiked the vociferous local bag lady’s most rancid flask with high end hallucinogens.

Actual tunes are scarce, if not missing altogether, while sporadic Burundi style drums attempt to bring some semblance of aural acceptability to proceedings. I’ll say one positive thing about it – it’s definitely not boring. Confusing, yes. Irritating, a little. But boring? Most certainly not. They used to worry about subliminal messages back in the sixties, well, this record is just full-on psycho. I’d love to tell you a little about each track in detail, but I can’t, can I? Because they all sound like a group of pre-schoolers have stumbled across a carrier bag full of cheap instruments and banged them together in the vague hope that this would constitute a “song”.

To be fair, this is quite a brave attempt to try something different, and it cannot be denied that, if this was initial plan, they have achieved it in spades. Their problem arises when they arrive at the question “Who, in a million years, would ever want to listen to this?”, for I suspect that nobody except the clinically insane would want to share the room with Guerilla Toss and a hot soldering iron. And even THEY would be mightily apprehensive. Enough now. My ears hurt.

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