Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Geronimo - Self-titled


Released 2007 on Three-One-G
Reviewed by Klaus Trofobya, 03/11/2008ce

Ever seen a little movie (not film) called "About A Boy"?

Of course you haven't. You're cool. You and your black-clad chanteuse jam-piece are too busy smoking red-dyed Russian cigarettes and remixing Can albums backwards while waiting for your silkscreen art to dry.

Besides, you don't have to see that piece of shit, because I have. In a nutshell (which is an amphitheatre far too esteemed to be containing said film's non-existent merits), Hugh Grant plays a middle-aged young man whose father wrote a hit pop song in the swingin' sixties. Subsequently, due to inherent royalties from his now-deceased father's hit, ol' Hugh's character does approximately DICK with his life, buying outfits and waxing existential all over the unsuspecting viewer (I.E. me, in one of my more pride-bereft moments).

Which is why I steal music...With a few moralistic caveats.
I only commit illegal downloading if the music was made by someone who is long since alive (the thought of one's music dollar going into a pocket belonging to the likes of Hugh Grant is a horror worse than being waterboarded), or if its source is long since out of print and commanding outrageous collector prices. During this selective process, I compile a list of albums from current artists that I willfully and confidently purchase with my real hard-earned money.

Which brings me to Geronimo's self-titled lp, which is the finest album I've BOUGHT in recent memory (which due to an increasingly nasty Gin habit only goes back about two years.) I'd been downloading all manner of arcane noisiness, feeling increasingly like some musical Crypt-Keeper, when I stumbled over an interview with David Yow, who absolutely gushed over this new band, Geronimo, whom I'd never previously heard of. More cursory research turned up connections with many of the most exciting bands the west coast has produced over the last fifteen or so years (Man Is The Bastard, Sleestak, etc.) I was intrigued. I procured a copy of their just-released Lp. I played it. And there things get hazy.

See, its hard to really describe in words the sensory juggernaut that is this record. Geronimo is first and foremost, a political band. To jaded Caucasian ears, this may not be at all apparent, because Geronimo's politics come from a time before borders, broken treaties, and cigar-store effigies. The sound of this Lp is the sound of Five hundred plus years of struggle and oppression that will not, and will never die, filtered through the simplest closed circuits and percussion, the proverbial ghost (or ghosts, more accurately) in the machine. Anchored by rock-fucking-solid live percussion hammering out tempos at once shamanistic and industrial, analog electronics bubble and froth to the surface, occasionally breaking the syncopation with arcs of most cathartic squealing. An always distorted (presumably using the same analog noise generating circuitry) electric bass capers along with the otherworldly drumming, with occasional vocals adding a further percussive shove into the precipice (normally, I'm peeved by the lack of a lyric sheet-but given the nature of this record, its as if the words are known without language, and if that doesn't make sense, listen to it and disagree with me then, motherfuckers).
This is a record that will make you feel horrible and amazing all at once, a cleansing that the listener is more than likely not psychically, morally or physically ready for when the needle drops, but once it's done they will be both absolved of and responsible for the sins of themselves and their forefathers. And after all, isn't that what the psychedelic/shamanistic experience is all about?

Buy this album. Commit yourself to listening to it all the way through, if only just once. Put down your iced coffee, close your laptop, shut off your fucking phone, and take the ride. I did. Now I play it when I go to bed at least once a week.

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