Guerilla Toss - Twisted Crystal (DFA Records) 2018
Not everyone can be a New Yorker, but Guerilla Toss are Boston-bred transplants that translate the sound and tongue-in-cheek ethics of NYC no wave, with the bizarro of Akron rock that drove its way east in the late 1970s. Think the Waitresses with distortion and dissonance—a touch of disco-fused wah-wah, like a saturated breakbeat cover of a Gina X Performance song.
Twisted Crystal is the band’s sixth studio album. Starting with “Magic is Easy,” the record enters an oscillation of funk-punk pulling together their Grateful Dead fanaticism with the erratic noise rock time signatures of their earlier EPs. “Jesus Rabbit” provides zany Zappa riffs against a blasphemous nursery rhyme, where vocalist Kassie Carlson sings satirically about what seems to be the Rapture. “Meteorological” is a playful ode to the weatherwoman, teaming up with “Hacking Machine” to hurl you with frenetic percussions. The album then simmers down in a B-52’s fashion with, “Jackie’s Daughter” and “Green Apple,” but Guerilla Toss don’t miss a beat when it comes to sensory overload; it’s almost as if a band named in regard to Donkey Kong could truly emulate the game’s soundtrack through their intricate synth punk. Coincidence? Not really, but they’re still doing a hell of a job.