New Gospel Gossip song debuts
Smart money says that Gospel Gossip is on a short list of Twin Cities bands currently dwell ing on the precipice of national credentials. With a stable of heavyweights like Atmosphere, P.O.S. and Tapes 'n Tapes refracting the country's limelight onto the Twin Cities, genius rugrats like Gospel Gossip and Baby Guts are getting much deserved national and international press (Gospel Gossip with a decent review in Pitchfork, Baby Guts with an affectionate profile in the UK's Guardian).
The good news is that "Pre Med (Just in Case)" is a great step beyond the Velvet Underground and New Order influences that Gospel Gossip smartly fashioned on their remarkable debut full-length Sing Into My Mouth. It's a lengthy, adventurous track which finds Sarah Nienaber as vocally and musically frail in the opening minutes as an origami swan. As the song proceeds, Nienaber becomes gradually more real, more enraged, her vocals tearing and artifacting, her guitar strings taking on the hard-strum twang that is her trademark as a musician. It's a long, slow build with a handy feaux ending, ultimately spiraling away in a noise crescendo. Its effect threatens to overwhelm, clutching in its near six minutes a savage beating heart that the song never musters the courage to wring out. By song's end, you'll be left elevated and dazed by its execution.
The bad news? It's a song in which Gospel Gossip's influences shout down their own native idiosyncrocies. The song is engorged with Arcade Fire's grandiosity and pressure-cooker buildups, and while Gospel Gossip makes a delicious feast of those leftovers, the musical breadth attempted here feels just a touch leaden and overly familiar, if only because works like "Wake Up" are still warm to the touch, still filling our iPod earbuds.
It's a good song, and we await the album with breath all bated. Gospel Gossip is a band that has smoldered with brilliance for the last year and more-- here's hoping they catch fire on their next release.