Although rooted in a post-punk hotbed of throbbing, thrashing bass, Gardens’s debut album blossoms over its 10 songs into an adrenaline rush of artful, angular garage-rock. Not unlike contemporary British bands Young Knives and Pete and the Pirates, the Detroit-based combo creates an original sound out of familiar elements.
Since singer Jeffrey Thomas sounds, to these ears anyway, like Mark E. Smith, as well as a snarling Iggy Pop on occasion, both the Fall and the Stooges come to mind. Foot-pounding opener “Teachers” borrows from the Damned’s “New Rose”, and technicolor flashes of Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd rub up against a spiralling Velvets interlude on “Ideas to Use”. Yet as the woozy, junkyard-organ-and-piano numbers “Morning Refresher” and “River Perspective” testify, there’s more going on here than magpie rock ‘n’ roll. “Poems in the Puffs”, for example, is a discord-meditation that deconstructs Gardens’s sound into a wonky art-punk carnival ride.
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// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article