Shoegazers Need Polish, Have Potential

Has this ever happened to you? You’re at a rock show and astonishingly find yourself rocking out to the opening band. So you buy the record, but when you get home and put it on, it’s just not the same. Abby Gogo, a band that plays something between garage and shoe-gaze rock, shows potential but their self-titled debut, available Nov. 30, leaves room for improvement.

The mixing seems off on several tracks, and better production could go a long way to showcasing the band’s talent. If you listen closely, you can hear a strong garage-rock riff underlying opener “Louder than Dreams,” but it’s nearly drowned out by the high-ringing lead guitar. One can’t help but wonder if the track would be stronger if that core riff was better featured. On several other tracks, the vocals are turned down so low you can’t tell what brothers Bon and Jon Allinson are singing.

Band stares at shoes, rocks out

Abby Gogo’s debut also fluctuates wildly in terms of track length.  “Louder than Dreams” is about two-and-a-half minutes, while two later songs are more than seven minutes.  This is a band that loves atmosphere, tense buildup and shattering climaxes, so a few of the longer songs are compelling from start to finish.  “Torpedo,” for example, alternates between hushed chanting and towering walls of sound to awesome effect. Other songs, however, probably would have been more effective with a little editing.

In the end, the album leaves one with the feeling that Abby Gogo is a band that’s probably pretty rocking live. But the lack of production and quality control on their first LP makes the recorded Abby Gogo hard to recommend.  If you’re into bands like The Verve or Interpol, put Abby Gogo on your radar. If they stick together, this is a band that could be great.

Click here for a free MP3 of “Louder than Dreams.”

Leave a Reply