Geld’s Perfect Texture is 11 tracks, 23 minutes, 41 seconds: walloping wallaby! I feel like I’m back in my initial stomping grounds of Lethbridge, Alberta, a place that must exist in Geld's stomping grounds of Melbourne, Australia. Back in Canada’s Loyal Order of the Moose community hall, standing in an awkward half circle, ceiling too high, among their powerful nasty noise exuding insanity in compounded chaos as their songs bounce off the walls harshly, I can imagine Geld’s overblown guitars sounding like broken down computer bellowing their last death rattle in front of 12 kids and an alcoholic club owner, an incessant pounding drum set coupled with buzz saw bass drowning out a heavily reverberated vocalist. On the walls among the Rorschach stains of mold can be read a form of abstract pain, understood differently by each person, seemingly plastered and grown over the years by the same grimy frustration Geld aspirates in Perfect Texture, like an old sun exposed face.
The album sounds like an electrified sandstorm blowing over no mans land in the North American Great Plains. The guitar and bass cake on layers of panoramic fuzz, the tom-toms are undefined and muddy, and the cymbals sting a harsh shine, downgrading the vocals from lead role to supporting act, another ‘instrument’ expressing disgust. Each ‘instrument’ denies the other its full sound equalizing the album in a whirl of battling frequencies.
Beginning with the first track, one of the albums calmest moments shows how clear Geld can speak their music, but quickly and abruptly we are thrown into their mess of texture as we grit our teeth—thrown into a roller coaster unexpectedly in complete loss of control.
But Geld is in control: their distortion is intentional. Their wall of noise disguises any sloppiness among an already jumbled mix of songs; conversely this technique sacrifices and misrepresents the low-end frequencies. If the albums mixing were clearer the bottom end would emphasize what their live sound is like in a good sound system, not ad hoc community hall standards.
Midway through “Case” begins with a deadly drum shuffle and guitar delay combination as if Dead Kennedys had a baby with Black Flag and put delay effects on the child’s screams before full on d-beat assault.
In fact d-beat is Geld's modality. The psychedelic peeks in through phase, chorus, and delay pedals briefly, possessed by blood-pumping pulse-raising speed. A few pockets of industrial noise, and acapella throat screams, respectively, mark apt pauses in Perfect Texture's intensity.
Unfortunately, solely communicating intensity like this album demands a sophisticated audience weaned from Harmony’s tit and raised by the rough hands of Motorhead, Discharge, and His Hero is Gone. An album so far down the lines of influence as Perfect Texture moves either in the direction of genre transgression, or genre distillation. Geld falls into the latter, respecting their lineage, and preserving their influences uniquely. In an act of preservation, Geld amplifies these unique trends, which take a seasoned listener to appreciate. There’s a core nugget of gold among the dirt and the inexperienced listener might not have the guts to dig for it. In fact Perfect Texture needs live show experience to unlock its enjoyment. Instead of listening what is on the record, the listener must project the sound in his imagination on what it might sound like live. Because the album lacks clarity, it only points to one narrow spectrum of Geld, imploring the imagination to pick up the rest, at least until their next show.
Upon Perfect Texture’s ending a question begs: should lo-fi community hall quality recordings be a staple of fast hardcore punk like Geld? Is it necessary, with cheap DAW’s to keep this feature? Fans of d-beat, powerviolence, and similar subgenres might prefer Ajax’s Bleach for Breakfast, or Warthog’s self titled EP, both superior in sound quality, and equally good. Despite it’s obstacles, my guess is Geld is an A+ live band limited by recording conventions; and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What makes a good live hardcore punk band doesn’t always translate well in their album. So as their reputation certainly confirms, Perfect Texture is defiantly a good stab in the right direction from ‘down unda’. Now go see them live you ‘flamin’ mongrel!’
7.0 / 10
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Posted May 17, 2018, 9:05 p.m.
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