Review: The Gubernatorial Candidates – Triggerman

Hailing from New Orleans, The Gubernatorial Candidates brought something a little different to the post-rock party when they debuted in 2007. Their music was an intoxicating stew of jazz, blues and post-rock which distanced itself from the pack and ‘Triggerman’ seeks to do likewise.

‘Grand Terre’ and ‘Coffin’ seem like decent scene setters; the kind of atmospheric post-punk/funk you might hear on records by moody experimentalists like Wolfgang Press or A Certain Ratio during the 1980’s, whereas ‘Muscle’ revives the metronomic, primitive electronica of early Cabaret Voltaire. These are hardly the sounds of a band on the cusp of a major label deal but the way in which they recall the unsung heroes of British indie is admirable.

Where the album comes in to its own though, is when the group break out from nostalgia. ‘No Remainder’ is the first moment to provide light relief from the gloomy early 80’s trappings and moves in to more modern, spacious territory and ‘Jamette’ ends accompanied by the mournful tones of a trumpet. The album’s centrepiece, however, is the towering title track. Built from machine drone, guitar loops, found sounds and mysterious layers of noise it is like finding a lost Bark Psychosis single.

Unquestionably, ‘Triggerman’ is an album which relies more on mood and texture, rather than melody and excitement. It’s also the epitome of the slow burner; where small fragments of seemingly disparate noise steadily make sense and form a fascinating whole.

Web Sites:
The Gubernatorial Candidates MySpace

Further Listening:
Cabaret Voltaire, The Wolfgang Press, A Certain Ratio, Bark Psychosis

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