Gang Gang Dance - MindKilla
I think part of the appeal of a band like Gang Gang Dance is how unpredictable and all-over-the-place they seem to be. 2008‘s Saint Dymphna was intricate and vivid, but also frantically messy, slapshod, and uneven by its very design. Hopping from blissed out psych-rock to spaced out ambient to dirty grime, sometimes within a single track, Saint Dymphna at times sounded like a particularly earnest live performance by an eclectic band that decided the only acceptable strategy was to shoot off into every imaginable direction at once.
Their next record, 2011’s Eye Contact, brought a little more structure to the group’s apparent madness, bringing a little bit more of a cohesive theme and consistent sound to the table than Saint Dymphna ever could have. Some would say that the group lost a little something in the process, but I think this album is just sort of a different experience. And even still, beneath the apparent structure of these songs lies the same wide-eyed experimentalism behind their earlier recordings.
In the context of Eye Contact, “MindKilla” serves as the record’s driving, straightforward dance moment, but, taken out of context, the rough, schizophrenic quality that pervades so much of Gang Gang’s material is as apparent as ever. The song is certainly a dance number, and a lot of the most prominent sounds on this track wouldn’t sound out of place on a chart-topping technopop tune, but the song still sounds a little off-the-rails. A lot of that is due to the performance by frontwoman Lizzi Bougatsos, who almost sounds as if she may have simply walked into the recording and improvised her entire part. But it’s also because the core of the song is pure Gang Gang: sounds fly at the listener from all angles without any warning, and the song whirs right along into every new section without rhyme or reason. It might sound like a hit for a split second, but in the end it’s just another left-of-center experiment from one of the most defiantly weird groups out there.