“What happens when your dreams turn into your worst nightmares?” asks Paddy Shine. The brutal Swans inspired pounding mayhem that surrounds that question on “Learn to Forgive” seems to give part of the answer, or at least a cathartic reaction to “The rich man’s crime.” Tory scum got re-elected. Like so many people this pissed off the children of Gnod. Their incredulous frustration and hatred of the situation bled into the creation of this monstrous onslaught of doom. Reverting to their old ways they hit drums, guitar and basses to try to break “The Mirror.” Hopeless massed choirs lurched out of the darkness to wail and gnash teeth in tortuous agony, summoned by new Gnodster Steve Wagner from Sunday Mourning. The three long slow grinds that make up this bad trip must have shaken the walls of Islington Mill where Sam Weaver recorded it. Public Image Ltd’s wretched “Theme” and the second punishing side of Black Flag’s “My War” reflect from my mirror on “The Mirror.” If we all put on blood red coats and went Tory hunting then this is the album to blast them with after tying them to giant speakers. Maybe if we gave them some real cuts then Gnod could sample the screams for a sequel. Gnod aren’t known for sequels, however, so maybe the next album will celebrate the infinite possibilities of happy calypso. Unlikely, as Paddy informs me that it’ll feature two drummers. Let’s hope the suicidal tendencies this music implies don’t overtake Paddy, Marlene, Chris, Alex and Steve and they live long enough to get even angrier about the greedy economically illiterate puppets who are selling off and fucking up our country.
This review was written for Optical Sounds zine.