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Review: 'The Gerbils'
'Are you Sleepy'   

-  Label: 'The Elephant 6 Recording Co'
-  Genre: 'Indie' -  Release Date: 'June 1998/2019'

Our Rating:
This is a re-issue of The Gerbils low-fi lost album from 1998 that I'm guessing lots of you missed first time round like I did when it came out on Earworm Records. This time round it's out on some very cool vinyl with some cool artwork not only on the cover but the inserts as well that include some gerbil cash and the download card.

The album opens with the frantic and sunnily clattering Sunshine Soul that is nice and rough and ready and has a sort of shambling feel to it.

Is She Fiona asks a good few questions of Fiona with some cool almost powerpop vocals and the music isn't far off that but with added clatter and batter you round the head cymbal work and is that some maracas I can hear.

Crayon Box sounds almost like it should be a song by well Crayon it has that sort of indie noise feel to it and it may well be a tribute to them or just a story of a downtrodden woman being treated like a child.

Penny Waits is a song of longing and well expectation of the person Penny is waiting to meet this is an infectiously catchy clatter pop song.

Fluid sounds sort of squelchy and full on indie dancefloor song to kind of lurch along too while I sit here trying to figure out exactly what 90's indie song it really reminds me of.

The A-side closes with Fluid that has all sorts of pulses and noises bubbling away like a Sci-fi movie soundtrack to some outer space journey that's about to get ruined as the space time continuum is split asunder once more.

The B-side opens with the slow strumming of Glue a song of love and lust as the music builds and all sorts of noises come in and out as we discover that her love is so real it sells like glue, well I hope it isn't evo-stick in a paper bag that they are huffing on as it ends up almost sounding like Pavement as this song could have been a slacker anthem if it tried a bit harder.

Apparently Ted Doesn't Mind now the question is of course what doesn't he mind about and well as the drums clatter and so vocals give us a list of things he really doesn't mind about your drawn into The Gerbils cage to make sure you're as ok with what's going as Ted is.

Walnuts is quite laid back and off centre almost slacker psychedelia a love or lust song with almost in a closet vocals this is the sort of song that will grow on you once you've heard it enough times to have figured out all the words.

Lead is down low slow building indie anthem for a generation that were still worrying about what would happen with the millennium bug and other such quaint pre-millennial worries as they sing about the secrets you keep.

The album closes with Grin that should leave a smile on your face no matter how schizoid the opposing vocals sound on what could have been a sweet love song but is instead fraught and rather intense way to end a cool and certainly overlooked album. Get it on Vinyl while it's available as waiting for the next re-issue may take a good while.

Find out more at https://elephant6.com/
  author: simonovitch

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