Gauntlet Hair have a dark side. Gauntlet Hair also a side that’s about the light. So what wins out on their new album Stills, the light or the dark? I’d have to say the dark side wins, but the light side keeps creeping in. The band’s recording label said earlier this year that “goth industrialists and post-punks” were influences, citing Joy Division as an example, and it’s hard not to feel the angst juxtaposed against the uneasy angst of post-punk and gothic sounds.
From the album's opener and lead single “Human Nature,” you can tell that Gauntlet Hair have sharpened their attack to a steady onslaught of echoey dub-garage-indie-rock, with some elements of chamber pop thrown in. Gauntlet Hair have always kept me guessing in the past, and that still proves true on Stills. They’re completely reckless with what kind of band they want to be, and what kind of sound they want to have. This kind of risk taking is what makes the music interesting, they don’t fall into a pattern of complacency or paint by numbers approach, they feel free to try out different directions and make them work.
The band still wants to get lost in a wash of reverb though, something that people often mistake as a way to disguise mediocrity. It works for Gauntlet Hair, the dose of reverb isn’t an overdose, they keep the prescription in a range that nicely offsets the off-kilter guitar lines and bounces them out into the otherworld. The songs are more established here than on their debut, self-titled album ... What then seemed like a bunch of musical experiments that took shape as songs over time have turned into more well-reasoned songwriting this time around.
Get your dark side on with Gauntlet Hair, you won’t be disappointed.
Listen to Gauntlet Hair - “Bad Apple” - Streaming Music
Watch Gauntlet Hair - “Human Nature” - Video
Gauntlet Hair Go Gothic Post-Punk On Their New Album
Watch Gauntlet Hair - “Keep Time” Video
MP3: Gauntlet Hair - "Top Bunk"
MP3: Gauntlet Hair - “Human Nature”