Call me a detractor, but the whole ‘math-pop’ thing seemed to die on its feet. It got plenty of action but no traction and simply limps now with a stitch around a grand played out course.
Gunning For Tamar however have stuck resolute to their (ha) guns and now look as if they have a wholesome chance of running for mayor of the whole thing, reviving, bringing back a, well, blessed force into a once vital part of the British music scene. And they have all the credentials necessary – grand stage presence; violet puking riffs that could have been a sinewaved pop phenomenon; an unnecessary and wholly rewarding predilection for 5/4/7/8 times.
Yea, they pull it off. Almost. Tight as fuck, they have always been tight as fuck, GMT have the musical ability to turn a puddle into a mirror. Witness the verses of the title track – a swinging, vital ragged ship of a melody with a cymbal driven rage tugging like so many waves at the hull. Then swing across to the final section of ‘Astronaut-Abort’, where guitars chip incessantly away at some poor blossoming forest. Great, serious stuff.
But that’s the problem, if there is one. This is very serious stuff. And here lies always the best problem with so much of the Alcopop! aesthetic, the great bloody weakness of so many math-pop bands who seemed to come from the same place – a singer aping Simon Neil saying something really, really important. Quoth frontman Joe: “As I cut my broken parachute into ribbons”. An unremarkable lyric. But delivered so taught overwrought, it turns ‘mellow breakdown’ into ‘blazing farce’.
Gunning For Tamar are awesome. They’re that band, the band that make the drink you, holding, watch them with, taste better. But to get in, maybe they need to get insincere.
Released on 19th March 2012 by Alcopop! Records