2010 was a bad year for live music, or so it seemed to me. This is why it was all the more surprising when i first encountered Disappears opening for Tortoise. A previously unknown band who are interesting, competent, and fun? Unheard of in 2010: the year of crappy openers.
Since seeing them live, i have been curious to hear them on record, and i was finally able to with the release of Guider, which is apparently their second full-length release. I have never seen any other releases by them in stores, so who knows how widely distributed their first album was.
Up first on Guider is Superstition, which is built out of screamed staccato vocals and tremoloed guitar. It moves at a pretty rapid pace, and reminds me vaguely of The Fall. Not Romantic takes the same general formula, but somehow manages to remind me of The Liverhearts. I think it is some subtle variation in the way the voice is recorded. This song gets really great on the choruses, as the guitars chime and the rhythm slowly builds.
On Halo the vocals again make me think of The Fall. The pronunciation-uh is not-uh so stylized-uh as Mark E. Smith (-uh), but something in the recording of the voice calls that to mind. However, the next track, Guider makes me think of late-era Velvet Underground, with a monotonous steady beat and the vocals kind of shouted. Good stuff.
New Fast takes the band in a different direction. The voice is slow, echoed, and eerie, while the rhythm is flat and the guitars are echoed. The overall effect is reminiscent of the mellower moments of The Horrors, that sort of goth-ish noise rock.
And finally we have Revisiting, which at 16 minutes long takes up just over half of the length of the whole record. There is some nice echoing guitar, and the beat is a metronomic steadiness. This song just goes on and on, the steady rhythm and distorted guitar creating a really freaky drone. I feel like i should be doing acid and dancing some crazy dance on the set of Laugh In while listening to this.
It's not a really long album, clocking in at around the half-hour mark, half of which is just the song Revisiting, but still, they build up a good groove and don't really need any longer to make their point. In fact, this type of music might get too boring due to its repetitiveness.
It's not the most original music that i have heard, but it is enjoyable.