Gazer – Fake Bulbs EP

Gazer - Fake Bulbs

Gazer – Fake Bulbs EP

Don’t let the rough finish on this EP deceive you. Fake Bulbs is a finely constructed piece of noisy rock n’ roll. Gazer, a prickly, nimble rock band out of Cincinnati, Ohio, sounds like a more aggressive version of Devo crossed with a developing Young Widows or The Jesus Lizard. With flashes of punk and a hefty dose of art noise, many of these songs demonstrate a patience I thought uncommon in noise rock. I imagine that many hours of experimentation, trial and error, preceded the band settling on these tracks.

The EP first lumbers into the room with “A Nurse For A Human.” I really like this song, but it isn’t representative of Fake Bulbs. Most of the songs on the EP follow a very linear narrative arc. The simple, angular “Bethany” is a good example. Better examples include the more-developed “Bloat” and “I Passed The Bar,” which both move efficiently, lingering just long enough on one figure to ball up the pollen before buzzing off to the next.

This isn’t a memorable collection. When it stopped playing, I stopped caring about it. But repeated listens paid off, as the music that was at first so inaccessible began to take root. If you like punchy sounds – like those of Brainiac, Big Black and Devo – Fake Bulbs is recommended.

Phratry Records