It’s the mid-2010‘s and rumbling rumours of a new duo that can remove the very enamel from your teeth and still leaving you grinning inanely are abound in the TUSKsphere. What’s more, they’re only down the road in Leeds. Soon after, Joe from the TUSK Team reports that he has just witnessed said duo perform and can confirm that his own dental work was indeed joyously defenestrated. Further investigation threatens the very structure of our ear canals. We book Guttersnipe for TUSK 2016. They are new to almost everyone in the room and their set is followed by the sound of every audience member scraping their jaw up from the floor.
No one plays guitar/effects/microphone like Gretchen; no one drums like Bobby. Individually they’re overwhelming, together they are indescribable, genuinely otherworldly. What feel like they must be extremes are merely stopping off points in their musical journey. A drummer who plays like someone with 3 arms and a wheelbarrow full of performance enhancing drugs, his arms a-blur and his use/abuse of contact mics adding all kinds of other dimensions and realities. The vocabulary has not yet developed to describe the sounds and playing Gretchen creates with her small, primitive-yet-space-age armoury. They are a living whirlwind and should be internationally known by now, but have no interest in such attention. When lockdown is over, put them at the top of your list to see live.
After appearing at the TUSK festival in 2016, in 2018 they played in Ghent with Lightning Bolt, were invited by Wolf Eyes to play the third Trip Metal event in Detroit alongside Art Ensemble of Chicago and Martin Rev, played at the opening event of Suoni Per Il Popolo in Montreal and played a couple of shows as the backing band for Drainolith (solo project of Alex Moskos of AIDS Wolf). Their debut LP ‘My Mother The Vent’ was released at the end of 2018 on Upset The Rhythm records and was 4th in The Wire magazines top 50 albums of the year and 5th in Rolling Stones Top 10 avant garde releases of 2018.
“Queer absurdist no wave noise rock abstract freak out. This is hard bop right here!” – Maximumrocknroll
“Ecstatic, disgusting, blown-out, art-groove-and-rainbow-noise yowl…it’s sheer chaos, spurts played with hardcore abandon by kids into Sun Ra and Beefheart and death metal, a Xenakis composition as a loft band.” – Rolling Stone