Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Coming quickly on the heels of their ‘Grim Ripper’ album release [review] back in March, Portland’s LáGoon is back with a new EP.
The six-song “L’affaire des Poisons” finds the duo – guitarist / vocalist Anthony Gaglia and drummer Brady Maurer – speeding ever deeper into a skate park of psyche-infused fuzz punk. Along the way, they meet some interesting characters and scenarios that are ultimately relayed to us, the listeners.
The duo lovingly bestows the moniker of “Street Freaks” upon those folks in the first slow-churning salvo of smoldering stoner fuzz here. Massive chunks of rumbling riffery resonate and navigate this number’s plodding, sloth-like advance.
That syrupy, molasses style of music briefly intros the next track, but “Head Tripper” soon begins to build steam. Gaglia‘s oft-times offbeat vocals are always an interesting component to the duo’s output, this being no exception. They are generally a bit nasally, yielding an angst-laden tone, while managing to bring to mind those of bands from the mid-Sixties musical movement, the British Invasion… to me, anyway.
Perhaps the best example of them arrives with “The Affair Of Poisons“, but such that gets an injection of Motor City punk in their inflection, too. This cut is a brief but solid, uptempo, grooving tune that achieves an almost rhythmically hypnotic state. Then it is over before you know it, for better or worse… worse, I think.
Now halfway through this EP, we find ourselves bombarded by the standout heavyweight “Kill The Messenger“, my favorite song. A monster riff comes a’ stomping out of the speakers, heralding the arrival of this ode suggesting the homicide of a news-bearer. Winding ever tighter at times, the interplay between the pair here is fantastic as they explore varying tempos and amounts of doominess.
Before you know it, we are neck-deep in another killer track, “Draculove“, and its edgy, upbeat vibes. Quite a lively, feel-good rocker with some interesting lyrics. Folks may find this one impossible not to like on some level or another.
The energy remains on high output for the start of its follow-up, the EP-ending “Distant Enemy“. Maurer’s drum work is exceptional here, well, not just here, everywhere really, but really worth noting at this point. Devoid of any slack, he clickety-clacks the crap out of the kit throughout this scorcher. Everything else in the track is on point, as well – ala downtuned guitars, inclusive grooves, and those unique vocals.
Wrapping up, LáGoon has once again shown us their aural mastery, putting on a sonic display confirming their reign as psyche-fuzz, doom punk kings. Sure, they might be considered an “acquired taste” but hey, that’s just fine because really now, do we need fly-by-night tourists in the tune terrain?
I think not, no, so stake your claim with our stream of the ‘L’affaire des Poisons‘ EP or skate on over to Bandcamp HERE to stream/purchase it, either one.