Monday, October 31, 2005

cult of the week - Giant Sandworms

artist: Giant Sandworms

title: Will Wallow and Roam After the Ruin

year: 1980

label: Boneless Records

personnel: Howe Gelb (guitar, keyboards, electronics, bass, vocals), Dave Seger (bass, guitars, vocals), Billy Sed (drum kit, vocals), Rainer Ptacek (guitars, wammy bar, background vocals)
tracklisting: electro-gospel, mexican eyes, me and my rocket, lipstick criminals, steadfast

cotw say…

Arizonian Howe Gelb's lengthy tenure leading the jangly Giant Sand (and the countrified Band of Blacky Ranchette), has gradually seen his status grow from cult to legend. 'Will Wallow', Gelb's recording debut (as 'Giant Sandworms') came a full five years before Giant Sand's debut album, marking it out as a pecularity of substantial interest.

taking his cues from the new wave/ power pop sounds of the day, Gelb assumes a variety of personas for the EP's five tracks, ranging from Bryan Ferry to Mark Mothersbaugh. certainly fast, if not furious, 'Electro-gospel' sets the rapid chord-changing trend with chugging riffs, a tight rhythm section and deft organ fills. standout 'Me and My Rocket', plays down the frantic, new wavey guitars in favour of some wonderfully rich organ textures, and sees Gelb give a perfectly respectable turn as David Byrne(!). and whilst the horribly straight-laced 'Lipstick Criminals' lets things down somewhat, 'Steadfast' closes things in style by slowly building up to a grinding climax, helped by well-placed piano throughout and some subtle electronics.

of considerable interest to Gelb fans, 'Will Wallow' remains essential listening for anyone trying to make sense of post-punk American rock.

erik -

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