Gnome “Six Hi Surprise Tower” album review (1992)
Gnome is an obscure grunge rock band from the mid 90’s, taking influence from Mudhoney, and Nirvana, and their own brand of weirdness, they are brilliant. Raw, static, feedback filled, pop songs, is what you will find on this album. More people should definitely know about these guys. Their debut record Six Hi Surprise Tower came out in 1992. I went on a whim and bought the cd, based on the fact of one really good song, and I was pleased to find that the album was outstanding!!
The firt track is “On The House”, which is probably their best known track, filled with hooks, and very swampy, fuzzy guitar riffs. The chrous of “jesus is a lie” is just brilliant, and shows their ability to be edgy.
The second track, “13 Family,” has a strong Mudhoney flavor to it. Upbeat, and punky. Loren Evans’ voice is almost akin to a more grungy John Rzeznik, from the Goo Goo Dolls.
The third track, “Up To”, starts off a little bluesy, with a soft, slowly building lick. This song has a very nice groove to it. Some tambourine adds a nice touch to it. Then it explodes, on the chorus, with the pedals stomped on, for full fuzz effect, and has a beautifully sung chorus.
As dirty and fuzzy as the guitars are, they’re extremely melodic, similar to the aesthetic of Nirvana, but different in a way. A perfect example of how polar opposites work well together, to create something great.
The fourth track “Watershed,” is kind of slower and dirge-like, with lightly sung vocals. It kind of reminds me of something STP would do. There’s also hints of Mother Love Bone here, too.
the 5th track, “Go Go Go,” definitely has a Nirvana vibe, right out of the gate. With pounding drums and bass, and some controlled feedback during the verse. Matched up with Loren Evans’ voice here, which is pretty intense, and you’ve got a sweet tune. Probably one of my favorites on this record.
The 6th track “Peace,” starts off with a somewhat 60’s sounding guitar lick, that sounds like an air siren. Another really good upbeat song, with lots of energy, it is rather anthemic, if you will. It is so catchy and probably the most poppy song on the disc so far.
The seventh track, “Roadhog,” starts off with a nice soft builder, and keeps going, another upbeat, happy sounding song. This track brings to mind Dinosaur Jr, with hints of Pearl Jam.
The 8th track, “Free Toy,” starts off with an early Nirvana kind of vibe, then goes into a Mudhoney meets Pearl Jam vibe. I also detect a hint of a little Surf rock influence in their music as well.
The 9th track, “Nowonder Child”, starts off with a solid bass line, and it starts off slow, but then slowly builds, almost Bush-like, but before Bush. This song is another brilliant tune, with melody and swampy dirty guitar presence.
The 10ths and final track, “Pigroast,” almost seems to start with a Red Hot Chili Peppers kind of riff, and keeps a similar vibe, with a STP sounding verse. The song’s melody creates an euphoric type of feeling sonically, and brings memories and stuff racing back to you. It fades out at 3:50, and at 4:35, you hear the sound of rain and chirping birds, followed by the sound of a car crash that ensues, and then laughter.
All in all, there’s 10 tracks on this record, each of them are really good. There’s so much here, and the fact that its so overlooked, is fucking criminal. This is now officially on my top 10 albums of all time list. It can be hard to find, but if you are a big grunge fan, it is definitely worth the hunt, and the price.
By Andy Thunders
For more about the band, follow the link bellow: