Misc. Day – The Iron Lung


Remember how terrifying the synthesizer work of the 80s was in horror films? Remember that creeping but subtle blast off of sound where tensions were high and almost unstable. Now imagine if GAG, a band from Olympia, Washington that instead of subtle creeping are more of a grenade in a dynamite factory.

Kerosene burns and stings the lungs as fire and smoke erupt from the title-cut “Still Laughing” which takes a record stomping vinyl crack as bones snap like brittle pieces of Styrofoam. On Still Laughing, GAG is fully in control but in the same hand also fully uncontrollable as well.

Like a den of lions built-in musical form, tracks like “Mad Dog” are rabid shouts into the void of a crowd that no doubt shoots fireworks off indoors and crowd surfs in a basement. The most appealing thing to GAG has to be their rampant and well-orchestrated ability to the audience that captures and utterly shatters ears in foul but sweeping swing.

Other pieces like “High Off Gun Powder” are conquests in creation that illicit harsh, but guttural shouts from GAG almost as if the band was this monotheist celebration of animal instinct rather than any god. The one-two step is as aggressive as it can be without completely destroying the speakers and that tension that was mentioned before reappears like a shadow from the tomb.

Instead of suspicion and lingering fright, the shadow of GAG brings mosh pits and petrifying instrumentals through production. Not quite a lo-fi style, but certainly not clean; Still Laughing is just barely 19 minutes of toxic and rotting punk performance. Almost pungent at times, later pieces like “Smoking Meth” are comedic in title, but as a musical standard the stomping explosion is a circle pit waiting to happen.

The floating percussion matches this ripping guitar and shout technique that burns more oil than 2,000,000 lamps on the sun. over in a minute’s time, GAG is metallic and harsh but never grates on the ears. Instead, tracks like “Smoking Meth” are enthralling and boost to become this unwarranted but necessary beatdown.

And that describes most of Still Laughing. Not quite an elusive and hard-to-follow beast, but still gruff enough to push away; GAG is the perfect blend of hellish and powerful. The crosshairs line up and GAG shoots without even looking, killing onlookers and still managing to laugh after.

Listen To Still Laughing Here!!! – BandCamp/Spotify/iTunes

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