Gorilla – Treecreeper

 

Perhaps it’s churlish at this point to note that UK Stoner Rock band Gorilla is being just a bit misleading with the title of its new album, Treecreeper. (Heavy Psych Sounds.) Put simply, gorillas don’t climb trees. Well, alright, juveniles and lighter adults have been observed to do so in the wild. But the metal-as-fuck silverbacks don’t, because they’re too heavy, MAAAAAN.

Also, did I mention gorillas make their own beer by fermenting sugar cane in their stomachs? Gorillas are true metal. Unlike chimpanzees, who probably like Taylor Swift or some other such anodyne shit. Did I further mention chimps were infanticidal, cannibalistic rapists? So, Coldplay fans too.

All of which is, sadly, much more engaging than the album itself, which is an exercise in protracted dullness. It is, at its heart, perfectly serviceable, but simple and unexciting sleazed-out Stoner Rock, which has the good sense to find a good riff and cling to it. Were this all it did, that would be fine. But on and on and on it goes, leading us through one predictable riff or monged-out jam session after another.

You can’t even class it as pastiche, as there’s usually some satirical intent. No, to be this tedious requires a studied level of sincerity and no originality ever. Oh, there are plenty of spaced-out goings-on, but in a way that neither stands out nor pushes the proverbial envelope. Not even the small, crappy ones that come with discount Christmas card bundles.

In summary, I’m not saying there is no reason why this album should exist. I’m just saying there aren’t that many. It doesn’t help that the lead singer really, truly, desperately wants to be Lemmy, and proceeds to make it very clear to us that he’s not.

And when track three, ‘Gorilla Time Rock ‘N Roll’, or track seven, ‘Ringo Dingo’, kicks off, you can pretty much predict every cliché that’s going to be deployed. In fact, it’s perversely entertaining when you guess right where the next chord or beat is going to take you.

This isn’t saying the album is crap. No, it certainly isn’t. But it does have a studied banality about it, like wallpaper paste or a wet afternoon in Bracknell. It exists in a perpetual state of creative torpor, which threatens to suck the listener in and leave them half comatose with ennui. Or just plain bored to tears.

6 / 10

ALEXANDER HAY