ZLATO BABY - The Gonzo Show (self released)
It's not clear where The Gonzo Show fits stylistically into the small but thriving Brisbane underground music scene but the six-song "Zlato Baby" EP shows they're having a cool time anyway.
Maybe it's the loping basslines and the Brett Myers-like guitar phrasing in the outro but I'm hearing chunks of Died Pretty in the haunting "Zlato", recidivist '80s revivalist hack that I am. Ditto "Red Cheery Stains", which builds pleasingly over three-and-a-half minutes of warm psych. Maybe I shouldn't have mixed Coca Cola with my Codral but the flashbacks are overpowering. Guitarist-vocalist Gonz has a rich vocal quality that carries these songs nicely.
"Green Apple Eye Girl" has a rustic folk-pop feel while "Brownfox" is a skeletal, minute-and-a-half guitar instro that would have sat OK on Tom Verlaine's film noir-flavoured work "Warm And Cool". Now, if that sounds as stupor-inducing like a hot and humid day on the back verandah of a creaky old Queenslander with a bottle of Bundy rum, then don't nod off too soon; the closer, "Go For Gold", shifts the noise levels up a dB or two with a big chorus underpinned by a folky bedrock. A classy piano melody brings down the tattered curtain.
The Gonzo Show are a little laid back, very organic and a step removed from much of their competition on this showing. They don't bounce around like indie kids or post-punk sops, so much as rumble around with an arresting groove.
File The Gonzo Show under "psychedelic" but don't be too quick to pigeonhole. At times it sounds like they wanted to show off as diverse a range of songs as possible on their debut EP, and then I read a bio line about their album-in-progress likely to be broader in its scope. Well, bring it on. The band sounds up to the challenge. - The Barman
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