Recently I've been trying to get into Orwell, because my Granddad loves him, and I'd like to have something to talk to him about other than how poor Coventry City are. Because I'm an shamefully lazy reader I went for the slimmest volume I could find, Books v. Cigarettes, a collection of personal essays. One in particular stood out, Confessions of a Book Reviewer, especially this part:
"The reviewer, jaded though he may be, is professionally interested in books, and out of the thousands that appear annually, there are about fifty or a hundred that he would enjoy writing about...In much more than nine cases out of ten the only objectively truthful criticism would be “This book is worthless", while the truth about the reviewer's own reaction would probably be “This book does not interest me in any way, and I would not write about it unless I were paid to.” But the public will not pay to read that kind of thing. Why should they?"
The rest of the chapter carries on in that vein, complaining about how difficult it is to write a review when. Which is sort of how I've been feeling about Chaudelande.
At this point I'm actually going to describe what Gnod sound like, since I hate it when these theoretical sorts of reviews don't even address the music itself, because isn't that the point of album reviews? Gnod are from Salford, release a lot of music, and a lot of it is very loud. They mainly produce 'space rock', which I think is one of those genres people made up because it makes the music sound a little more exciting. Mainly Chaudelande (previously released as two separate LPs) is a repeated bludgeoning of heavy-set, heavily-distorted riffage, and not a lot else. It's a little exhausting.
And that's all I really have to say for it, but that's not quite 500 words, is it? It's not quite a review. And it's not that I don't think there aren't people who would love Gnod. In fact, there are – just Google them. Maybe it's just a bad time to release noisy music. Maybe I'm just not built to withstand this sort of onslaught, especially when the songs go one for in excess of ten minutes. I've seen other reviews that put this in a similar class to Hawkwind (semi-believable) and the Butthole Surfers (not really). I don't dislike the album, either, and – because I don't want this to get too "inside baseball" - this isn't about reviewing so much as it is with music in general, they're one of those bands that don't immediately grab me and so I skip to the next track on Soundcloud, or the album a friend lends me because they love it and I just don't see the appeal.
I'm struggling to find enthusiasm for this album, but that doesn't mean it lacks merit. I try to find something good to say about every record that isn't cynical or hateful (and thus undeserving) – with Chaudelande, I appreciate how intricately layered the guitars are, the sort of shamanistic feel to the vocals, and the drumming's pretty solid. It's just that, none of it excites me. I'm sorry.