Every band, even if they won’t admit it, has influences that shape their musical style. Some of the best music is formed when styles are blended or meshed together. Examples of this would be rock and blues for The Black Keys, rock, rap and electronic for Linkin Park and punk/folk for Mumford & Sons.
If you listen closely, you can hear bits and pieces in almost every song that will remind you of other bands or genres.
The Gods Themselves is no exception.
Before you keep reading, take a look at the cover of their album.
The Gods Themselves take the female vocals from the B-52s, the undertone beach vibe from the Beach Boys and the Jazz/Blues guitar from The Black Keys. The album was also mixed by Steve Fisk, known for mixing tracks for Nirvana, Soundgarden, Low and the Posies.
When I turned on the album, I thought I was going to have to drudge through a mess of electric crap to find any positive points. But must to my surprise, I really did start to enjoy myself by the third track.
Let’s get this straight; I have heard much better music. This is far from my favorite album, but I was able to listen to Pink Noise without much trouble.
The Gods Themselves formed in 2014 and began writing cosmic/astrological/astronomical music.
“Movement is what it’s all about,” says lead singer Astra Elane. “You’re sensing the song more with your body than with your mind because The Gods Themselves give you room to feel the sounds.”
After an interesting start with “Tangerines,” the album comes together as a well-done and veteran performance.
The Gods Themselves evolves from one track to the next, adding layers and effects to change their sound and the listening experience.
Some of the biggest changes in the album are in musical sound and vocal style. In the first song, I was worried that this was a B-52 cover group. But when “Electricity” came on, the sound changed into more of a Red Hot Chili Pepper-esk sound, leading with a guitar and deep male vocals. The next track, “Your Eyes” is heavy on the bass, feeling more like a Black Keys song, but the female vocals are reminiscent of Heart. But even before “Your Eyes,” the fifth track “Hercules” stood out to me. Heavy on the distorted guitar, The Gods Themselves show they will go beyond just rock and into the grunge side of music, but keep it light with their pop lyrics and bubbly vocals. It is the dissonance created by this that makes this jump out and catches listeners off guard.
I have to give them credit, The Gods Themselves have put together one of the most dynamically diverse albums that I have heard in quite a while. Pink Noise has something for every listener. As mentioned, the Black Keys and RHCP fans will be happy, but fans of Cake, Cobra Starship and Vicky Cryer, among others, will also enjoy the album.
Throughout this musical hodgepodge, I found myself hoping for a strong ending. The rocky start with “Tangerines” gave me doubts, but I wanted this album to end on a high note. And it did!
“You’re the One that I Want” gave a chance to slow down the music and showcase the vocal talent of Elane. This seven-minute ballad of love is a fantastic way to end this album.
Unfortunately for me, The Gods Themselves decided it wasn’t a great ending for the album and added a hidden track, “Bubblegum.”
What can I say about this last track? …Don’t ever listen to it. Unless you are a 15-year old girl, this song should not exist in your life.
Ending the album with “Bubblegum” ruins all of the maturity that was built up throughout. “Bubblegum” is more or less a pop/rap about all of the different types of bubblegum that these girls can name in a minute and a half.
I was so disappointed by the ending, that I actually had to re-listen to the album and turn it off before the last track.
I believe that The Gods Themselves have serious talent and should use it to create a third album to be released. But with that said, they need to work on the content of their songs and not just rely on a sound to carry them through.
Pink Noise was released on Oct. 2.
Tracks to remember: Stop/Listen, Electricity, You’re the One that I Want.
Tracks to forget: Tangerines, Bubblegum (Dear God, please let me forget this track)
Without “Bubblegum,” rating is 6.2.