Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Jul 23rd 2011 12:30PM by Tabassum Siddiqui
When you come across a band called Gobble Gobble, it's a safe bet the music they play is bound to be, well, interesting. One thing one can say about this mysterious noise-pop collective with origins in Edmonton is that they certainly sound unlike anything you've heard before.
Fronted by "pop experimentalist" Cecil Frena, Gobble Gobble is aptly described in their bio as a "hyperactive, futuristic techno-pop project" -- to that, we'd add: "that really messes with your ears -- in a good way."
What we do know about this ever-evolving ensemble (as Frena tells Spinner: "We're a fluctuating entity -- we have boundaries a bit like bacterium") is that Frena turned to pop music (loosely speaking, anyway) in typical former-hardcore-kid fashion: after years of screaming and playing guitar, he blew out his voice and turned to helping develop Edmonton's all-ages scene (he's the founder of Edmonton all-ages concert promoters Push Pins), and eventually brought together an eclectic group of musicians to realize his madcap musical vision.
When they haven't been busy touring across North America with fellow electro buzz bands, Gobble Gobble's been busy turning out an array of singles and remixes that illustrate their everything-but-the-kitchen-sink (heck, these guys would probably just play the sink and be done with it!) approach to electronic pop music: an early bio cited "freak folk, chiptune, garage, modern classical, and weirdo electronic" as genre touchstones, while insisting that Gobble Gobble's sound "cannot clearly be tied to any particular antecedent." No kidding.
Known to sport tutus or neon brights and bash away on hockey helmets or pots and pans during their synth-fueled, dance-party live show, the band's recent output delivers an equally outrageous sonic assault -- particularly catchy is the recent 'Wrinklecarver' single, which sounds like the best of retro videogame themes, '80s electro, and modern blog-house all mashed together in a gloriously spiky burst of beats.
It's certainly the most accessible of Gobble Gobble's tunes to date (the B-side of the 'Wrinklecarver,' for instance, hints at Frena's hardcore background, given that it features a whole lot of screaming), that nods at their keen pop instincts while making one wonder how their developing sound will morph next. (The band's currently working on their next LP, and members' side-projects are also taking off: Calvin McElroy's chillwave-y solo guise Kuhrye-oo is getting much blog love and Corin Roddick's Purity Ring electro project garnered a Best New Music designation from Pitchfork earlier this year.)
With music this energetic, the lyrics can often be pretty secondary, but Frena's frenetic shout-sung approach serves to pique curiosity as to what on earth he's hollering about -- we have no clue what a 'Wrinklecarver' is supposed to be, but Frena sure makes it sound ominous: "I don't want to feel my skin unlace its skates," he sings. "I don't want to chew my tooth chips." Yikes.
But the finale takes a much more poetic turn, as he adds: "What a weary way we fall/Until we're as old as emeralds." Heck, we'll dance to that.
Gobble Gobble play as part of the Pop Montreal showcase at 2 pm on the Island stage on Sunday, July 24.