On Chicago-by-way-of-Denver band Gauntlet Hair’s eponymous debut album, it’s evident that experimental duo Andy R. (guitar, vocals) and Craig Nice (drums) have been playing together for almost a decade.
“Keep Time” opens the album loud and dramatically, the duo’s vocals emerging as boisterous “oooh”s over pounding cymbals. The album sways continuously from louder to softer, less to more and slower to faster. Becoming bored or not having a time to tap your foot or bob your head never occur.
As far as the lyrics are concerned, they are barely decipherable, not unlike Animal Collective. But the album still bounces along without needing enunciation to produce energy, thought, and emotion. Not to mention dancing in your office chair. These tracks do indeed bring the beats. It’s absolutely plausible to hear someone freestyle over the beginning of “That’s Your Call” or all of “Top Bunk.”
But let’s remind ourselves that electronic experimental indie-rock noise music with R&B influence is not even close to everyone’s cup of tea. It’s acceptable and fair to completely hate Gauntlet Hair. Some people might hear this as too much noise and chaos. Those interested, though, whether listening at a dance party or just with a decent pair of headphones, will not be disappointed.