Hammock Style

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The lingering usage of the term "postrock" has seemingly outdated itself, and indeed if a new label for non-mainstream or indie bands had to be created it would be "post-postrock." The label has become a nasty one, avoided by anyone wishing to preserve their artistic independence. The Scottish band, Ganger, is one such band. Its not surprising that Ganger is a product of Scotland, notorious for musical innovators including the likes of Belle & Sebastian, Mogwai and many others. Hammock Style is their first full length effort, and at present, the album is solely distributed by Britain's Domino label, leaving American consumers to pay a slightly higher fee, albeit for some excellent music. In Ganger, one hears many influences -- the droning melodies of Tortoise, hushed vocals a la Kim Gordon and complex Slint-esque arrangements. But the reason for this album's success is Ganger's synthesis of these sounds into one unique voice. The album's beauty is carefully mediated by close attention to detail and enthusiastic spontaneity. The shortcomings of the term "postrock" are apparent after one listen to this album, and it is impossible to characterize this band as anything other than good; musical genres need not apply. The album starts strong with the trio of "Cats, Dogs and Babies Jaws," "Upye" and "Capo (South of Caspian)." These songs provide a catchy and bold beginning to the album, drenched in energetic melody and thumping rhythm. One feels, as sung by bassist Natasha Noramly, "lost in the city of sound." Lost in a good sense though, where over-preoccupation with direction is unproductive, and complete immersion in the moment is necessary. Ganger runs the gamut of noise, lilting melody and rock-stomp on Hammock Style and it makes for a great album. The songs on this album are a bit shorter, but better crafted than Ganger's three previous single releases. Hammock Style is a welcome respite for anyone fed up with the jargon and labeling of modern music. Put simply, this album is good.

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