Single review by KevW
When you take someone who's released acclaimed material using samples, scruffy beats and found sounds, and put them in a group with a guitarist from a rock background and a drummer trained in jazz, then the results are either going to be an ugly mess or a fresh new take on how a band should sound. Toronto's Gitar are that musical melting-pot, and it shows on new single 'New Martyrs'. Taken from their forthcoming album 'Active Cultures', this track is thankfully not an ugly mess. In fact, you could perhaps file it alongside other genre-benders like Beck, Mr Scruff or even The Beastie Boys, although it's closer to indie-rock than hip-hop, but elements do creep in from all over the place.
"Trudging" probably isn't a word that's used as a compliment very often, but the beat here fits that description and is just perfect; it calls to mind fellow experimenters Gorillaz and their track 'Clint Eastwood'. The loose groove coupled with some almost grungy guitars gives a slight college-rock feel, but with a break for some jazzy brass to add another dimension, and then a hint of ska finding its way into the tune, 'New Martyrs' becomes something of a collage of styles, all combining seamlessly to forge Gitar's unique take on alt-rock. Having a video that can boldly be described as psychedelic, yet totally shuns colour, is another unusual but successful trick. So it's definitely fresh then, and a welcome distraction from the plethora of identikit alt-rock bands doing the rounds. A few more songs like this and Gitar could find themselves with quite a following.
Pre-order the album
Follow The Sound Of Confusion on Facebook or Twitter