The Gondoliers – Eat Your Heart Out
100 % Breakfast (2013)
With their dashing, burly looks, The Gondoliers could easily be the gentlemen guiding you down the Po, on a June evening. They’re tough drivers though, and it may be better to picture them behind the wheel of a ’67 Mustang, beat up enough to travel through tough neighborhoods, but still shiny, to impress the tough guys.
Drummer Brendan Gibson is at the helm, here, turning meters on a dime, with breaks in the rhythm that pull the rug from under guitarist Dan Madri and Singer John Manson, and then throw the pair on a magic carpet, chugging down the hazy city skies.
Madri has good range, with a slew of stinging, strange chords, building and collapsing like decks of cards. There’s always drama in his playing, which contrasts with Manson’s slacker-style nonchalance, cool and devil-may-care as Thurston Moore or Stephen Malkmus of Pavement.
There’s also a techno-quirky feel to much of the music, like you’re in a dark bar with noise and people and suddenly think of a day at the beach as a child with your mother. It can even get grand, and anthemic, but with a taste of spicy irony so it’s always understated. I’ve seen these guys live and they tear down the house. It’s a calmer experience listening to them on CD, but it gives you a good buzz.