Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
We are all in this house of mirrors, or we will be as soon as you press the play button over on the side of the screen there. We are all feeling pretty wavy, pretty unlike ourselves. It's as if we've been slipped something - fairly scary and pretty remarkable - that's refracting our senses and garbling our thoughts. We're hearing voices and we can't tell where they're coming from - around the corner, another day, or fully made-up and whipping themselves into some form of tangible context. The house of mirrors is the construct of Sacramento, Calif., band Ganglians - which consists of just one true ganglian, lead singer Ryan Grubbs. He's a tall man who plays with vocal effects like a child messing with his or her food, letting it all stir together into some tripped out soup that can get messy if you're not careful enough. These Ganglians are careful, splitting their personalities, multiplying those personalities and still remaining honed in on the greater purpose at hand - or knowing where the exit doors are at the ends of songs. It all gets psychedelic and high, but there is regiment to the tangents and diversions that Grubbs and band careen into. The young group's two self-titled releases - one on Woodsist and the other on Captured Tracks, two of the premier fucked up lo-fi labels in the country - and their latest record "Monster Head Room," also on Woodsist, are made of the kind of beach house music that you start to hear when substances begin kicking in and the sun's been hot and heavy on your skin for a number of hours now, starting to actually cook your body. It's a music that's all about woozy feeling, about just getting carried away into very unfamiliar territory, where the lights are brighter and more colorful than they usually are and the sounds are made of freaky scripture and streams of consciousness. The Ganglians take us on walk-abouts, not trying to get us lost, but trying to make us suspect that we have no idea where we're going, letting us feel as distorted and as odd as we've ever felt, without feeling as if this is getting out-of-hand. It's as if we're in between these cheap and thin walls and there's activity and sweet sounds loudly wafting through the vents, thundering through the walls and the millions of mirrors are cracking, breaking and falling to pieces. But we're dancing on the pieces. We're unhurt. We're having fun and the crunchiness beneath our feet kind of looks pretty as our heads spin into loops.
Ganglians Official Site
Captured Tracks Records