Dark and twisted, grungy and gruesome – welcome to the world of Gang. Margate’s finest trio have slowly been carving out their own little niche for the past couple of years, and after a string of successful singles, debut album 925 ‘Til I Die has finally reached our planet in all its alien glory. Released via Gang’s very own M8s Records, 925 ‘Til I Die is twelve tracks of fantastic dystopian hatred – recorded in a seaside home studio that screams anything but “Orwell”.
Whether its the opening Star Trek inspired samples of ‘Doppelgang’, or Eric Tormey’s frazzled guitar riffs in ‘Messiah’, 925 ‘Til I Die instantly whacks you over the head with Gang’s self-described “stonermetal” aesthetic. Previous releases ‘Breath Before Death’ and ‘Enough Nothing’ are as ominous as ever, reworked slightly to channel even more of that sludgy sound. Sabbath comparisons come hand in hand with this trio – and with ‘You Did It By Accident, In My Brain’s shredding, it’s easy to see why. But it’s also apparent that sharing stages with Kagoule and Wand has paid off; Gang, once restricted to the confines of demo tapes, now sound more polished than ever.
From start to finish, 925 ‘Til I Die is devoted to its concept, dragging dystopianism kicking and screaming all the way through. ‘1, 2 , 3, 4’ calls to mind conspiracy-favoured numbers stations with its childish counting; the twinkling futuristic synth in ‘The Big Prang’ is preceded by sinister chords that crawl up to you like horror movie demons in darkened alleyways. Gang have conjured up an oppressive atmosphere – and an accompanying statement sets the scene in the year 2942, where societal uprisings are subdued via mass mind-control. It’s anxious listening, and a whimsical if not truthful look at humanity’s fate – but if the future sounds this good, we’re going to be just fine.
It’s a fight between ‘2b Abused’ and ‘Rawboned’ for who takes the title of the album’s best track – two numbers equally home to Joe Hunt’s writhing basslines and Jimi Tormey’s frantic drumming. Don’t be fooled into thinking that 925 ‘Til I Die is just a collection of fat riffs, either. The plucked chords of ‘Skinny Dipper’ are hauntingly beautiful, showcasing Gang’s more than apt ability to throw in some ear-pleasing harmonies. ‘Dead’ brings the whole thing to a blistering end, a mammoth finale that sees Tormey drone “I don’t want to feel better, I want to better feel” as the music catalysts behind him.
Menacing and monstrous, 925 ‘Til I Die is sure to cement Gang’s reputation as one of the UK’s most phenomenal new bands. A strong debut should never go unnoticed; a first album this ferocious should be burned into the brains of all. In an era dominated by jangly guitars and dream-pop copycats, satanic overlords Gang have unapologetically created their own little circle of hell – and it’s a fucking pleasure to be a part of.
CATCH GANG ON TOUR THIS SEPTEMBER:
4 MARGATE – THE DUGOUT*
5 LEEDS – BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB*
6 MANCHESTER– STAR & GARTER*
7 NEWCASTLE – CLUNY*
8 GLASGOW – BROADCAST*
9 HULL – THE NEW ADELPHI
11 BRISTOL – EXCHANGE*
12 NOTTINGHAM – BODEGA*
13 BRIGHTON – GREEN DOOR STORE*
14 LONDON – GARAGE*
*supporting Chastity Belt