Saturday, December 12, 2015

GNOOMES “it’s moon-bow time, boy”
(Lair Records)



I didn’t intend to wake up today and discover the Russian equivalent of early Starflyer 59. I did, though, and I flipped my wig. Gnoomes, from Perm, Russia, is a trio heavily indebted to shoegaze, mainly on the dream pop end of the spectrum, and the curiously titled it’s moon-bow time, boy is their debut EP. Fun fact: I’m a huge shoegaze fan. Fun fact #2: I’m a huge Starflyer 59 fan. Super obvious conclusion: Gnoomes is a good band!

Now that I’m thinking about this whole thing, I guess to be fair, early Starflyer 59 is the Christian equivalent of Slowdive. Nobody’s original anymore.

But throw that out the window, ferchrissakes, because if the land of … what is Russia the land of? Does it have a nickname? Fine, if the land of Russians has decided it wants to export dreamy rock and roll to the West, who am I to argue? Who is anybody? When you’ve got three bearded young fellows who know their way around an effects rig, you’ve got the recipe for success anywhere in the world.

And if you name two of your tracks “Popol Vuh” and “Eno,” you’ve got some hefty expectations on your shoulders. Granted, Gnoomes doesn’t really sound anything like Popol Vuh or Eno, but their inspiration can certainly be felt in the texture and atmosphere these lads create. “Popol Vuh” is actually the dreamiest and Starflyer-iest (and by proxy, Slowdive-iest) of the bunch, and is a midnight stroll standout. The title track and “Night Queen” (a nod to Starflyer’s “She’s the Queen,” perhaps?) stretch the furthest into spacey nothingness. And trust me, if I could lie on a pillow of spacey nothingness forever, I surely would.

Please make Gnoomes your new best pals – they’ve even released their debut long-player, Ngan!, in October. But I’m not allowed to say anything about Ngan! because it was only released on vinyl and CD – not cassette! What do I have to do to make you people understand that those formats are for losers?


--Ryan Masteller


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