GSTS! is stuck in the early aughts on GFTF!

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GFTF! (Needs More Ram)

Some say that trends resurge in 20-year cycles, explaining rock’s current fixation on early-’90s grunge, but GFTF!, the new release from Abbotsford outfit GSTS!, suggests the band is stuck in the early aughts. Throughout the seven-song affair, the experimental hardcore unit recalls nearly forgotten bands, from the dexterous indie swagger of At the Drive-In to the chaotic mathcore of the Blood Brothers.

“Hot Damn! Snake on My Gun” opens the set with a herky-jerk assault of twitching punk beats, angular guitar scrawls, and a choir of prepubescent screechers. “If My Cart Was Empty…” similarly finds the troupe fighting for a chance to man the mike, with each screaming atop the tune’s complex web of metre-shifting rhythms.

GSTS! knows the value of spacing out the manic blasts. Listeners are spared the onset of an aneurysm by the eerie intro of western-film-score-style twinklings on “There’s a Triangle in All of Us”. The closer, “I Get My Nooses Second Hand”, finds the band howling full-bore, but thanks to Drew Riekman’s atmospheric, delay-pedal-driven guitar noodlings, the song plays out downright beautifully. GSTS! hopped the early-’00s retro train a little too early, GFTF! proves that the band’s sonic milieu never actually went out of style.

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