Somewhere Down Below is the newest album from Pittsburg-based noise rock band, Gaadge. With songwriting contributions from each of the band’s members, the album is an eclectic assortment of grungy, lo-fi alternative rock tunes. Like a noisier, shoegaze-ier White Album. Funny enough “Helter Skelter” would probably feel more at home on this one. Each member brings their own songwriting perspectives, personalities, and strengths to create a varied and fun record. There are full-bore fuzz guitar freak-outs living in perfect harmony alongside melodic, garage pop tunes. This is most exemplified in the three-song run of the catchy “Don’t Go There”, followed by the album’s heaviest, most thrashing contribution “Komarov”, and then the drum machine-driven poppy title track “Somewhere Down Below”.
The album is primarily anchored by walls of fuzzy and distorted guitars that would make J. Mascis proud, melodic vocals with gang background vocals, appropriately thunderous drumming, and poetic lyricism. A great example of this can be heard on the song “Candy-Colored” whose sludgy guitars eventually envelop the chorus’s declarative refrain of “there is nothing left to discuss”. Stand out track “Any Timers” marries the hazy, gazey guitars along with super catchy “da da da da da” background harmonies that when paired with the drum’s rhythmic punctuations are sure to get your head moving/swaying/banging.
Within this swelling whirlpool of fuzzy 90’s guitar-led tunes, there are plenty of surprises like the dystopian sounding “Sputter” or the instrumental interlude of “White Water”. The album’s lighter songs show the collective songwriting talent the group possesses. An album highlight in this vain is the lovely and emotional sounding “STROK” with its orchestrated use of acoustic guitars, swooning background vocals and more subdued electric guitar leads.
Written by John Brouk