Justin Vernon’s third Bon Iver album is a weird and wonderful thing
London Highbury Garage
They're a no-brainer, a guilty pleasure and a promising prospect rolled into one.
Perhaps best known up to this point as "Chris McCormack's new band", GTA have a major label deal Stateside and, in a nation of neuron-numbed Limp Bizkit fans, major prospects. The surprise is that somewhere in their radio-ready zeitgeist-seizing amalgamation of genres - the result of which is possibly best described as (deep breath) sample-driven nu-metal with anthemic choruses and a punk rock attitude - GTA have come up with something rather terrific. Oh, and don't worry - they're nothing like 3 Colours Red.
In vocalist Jay Butler, Grand Theft Audio have what is often referred to in the hushed voices of A&R ghouls as "a star". At least 9ft-tall (not counting the electric-shock bleach blond hairdo), he is in possession both of coruscating wit and death-defying bravery (he taunts the audience, then repeatedly ventures out into their midst). Meanwhile, McCormack, drummer Ritch Battersby (formerly of The Wildhearts) and bass player Ralph Jezzard (producer of EMF's 'Unbelievable') strike hammily exaggerated poses and work hard to make sure we forget their dubious credentials.
The volume alone is enough to empty your brain of any distracting thoughts (other than, maybe, 'Dammit, where'd I put my earplugs?'). The songs are secondary. 'We Love U' - one of the more memorable examples of their Prodigy/ Clash interface - is their call to arms and blistering statement of intent ("we've hijacked the decks/The world is gonna be next"). 'Stoopid Ass', meanwhile, is electro-metal-rap - part Nine Inch Nails, part Korn, part Public Enemy, if you can imagine - and their ballsy cover of The Pixies' 'Planet Of Sound' (a hangable offence, in some quarters) is really quite good. Effectively, GTA put on a dazzling show that doesn't impress you with skill or smarts so much as it simply bludgeons you into submission. They're a no-brainer, a guilty pleasure and a promising prospect rolled into one. Watch, and wait.
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