Photo by Kirsten Miccoli
2016 was already an anxiety-inducing year before last week’s election. It seems most of us have been trying to stumble forward while our own memories of the recent, tumultuous past have had us tripping over a sense of nostalgia for the good ol’ days. It’s enough to cause palpitations — but if you look at it with just the right crooked lens, it’s possible to find risibility in the madness. That’s just the angle from which Chicago band Ganser attempt to confront their own feelings on their new EP, This Feels Like Living.
“We’ve always written songs about a foggy perception of self,” Ganser’s bassist/vocalist Alicia Gaines tells Consequence of Sound of the effort. “‘Can I trust my own account of what happened? Did I do the right thing? … Wait, what happened?’ Anxiety becomes absurd, even funny at a certain point.”
This Feels Like Living seeks that almost ironic humor in angular post-punk songs that somehow live on drowning melodies. Opener “Pyrrhic Victory” stays above water thanks to prominent bass thumpings, while a track like “Machine Men” treads with chugging guitars. “Candor” cuts around like a manic urgently confronting their own fractured psych as Garofalo shouts about societal shortcomings: “A surplus of money/ And a deficit of taste/ Oh, it’s just the worst/ Just the worst, just the fucking worst.”
The lyricism is often as fractured as the cultural psyche, sliced up even more by the sharp-edged noise created by the four-piece’s instruments. It’s perhaps disturbingly and unpredictably timely, but the questions of identity raised in the music’s heavy atmosphere are oddly cathartic, like laughing at your own failures. Take a breath and take a listen below.
This Feels Like Living EP Artwork:
This Feels Like Living Tracklist:
01. Pyrrhic Victory
02. (What Are You Doing Here?)
03. Machine Men
05. Strategies for Living