Record Review - 3 July 03 2002

In an unexpected move, GOGOGO Airheart’s fourth full-length, Exitheuxa, rocks out in a more down-to-earth manner than the group’s previous offerings. For years, GGGAH’s funky excursions into dub-heavy new wave and spaced-out lo-fi have garnered comparisons to everyone from Public Image Limited to Pavement. Exitheuxa stands by those staple influences while reinvigorating them with a flair for the soulful rock of the ’60s.

From the opening guitar in “Sincerely PS” to the sneering vocals of “Sit & Stare,” GGGAH wastes no time making it clear that the group is now comfortable enough to freak out while doing what it does. But never has the chemistry come together to burn a cut as deep as “When the Flesh Hits.” Here frontman Michael Vermillion does his best Robert Smith impersonation over electronic squeals; a throbbing bass line drops out from time to time, allowing the guitar and organ to fill the void and drive the music.

As with any step in a new direction, some apprehension is inevitable. “Witch Hunt” looks back to a less developed stage of GOGOGO Airheart’s sound. But the music dwells for only a few reverb-drenched moments before the disc ends, pushing the music out of the past forever with a paranoid glance over the shoulder before carrying on.

GOGOGO Airheart plays Eyedrum Sat., July 6.??