Giddy Motors - Make It Pop (Cover Artwork)

Giddy Motors

Make It Pop (2002)

Fat Cat

Rating: 9.4

Gaverick de Vis needs psychoanalysis. And if he receives this psychoanalysis, the result would probably be that de Vis is psychologically unstable alone; he needs all of his friends and loved ones there to provide an anchor for his delusions. Fortunately for him (and us), his friends have converged in style; Manu Ros drums and basses (?) all the foundation de Vis could ever need while the ultra-legendary godsend that is Steve Albini produces de Vis' newly 'stable' life.

While de Vis is uncannily precise and tight at times with his guitar and vocal work, he spends the majority of the record off on tangents of tangents of something he originally didn't intend to do. Sound confusing? Good. Giddy Motors tend to lean not towards catchy pop tunes, but chaotic, sprawling, and bestial fireside chants. The only thing holding this attack back from complete disarray is Ros' tight-as-hell percussion and bouncing bass lines. The bass and drums seem to share an interesting bond, often complementing each other as they whirl through the album; this is, no doubt, because Ros plays both instruments.

The album opens with a drum roll and de Vis already starting to freak out; from the background he shouts 'Yeahhhhh! Hiyaaaaaaaah! Shooo!' and the band launches into a caterwauling wall of noise. Deep, heavily distorted sounds rumble like thunder throughout; the only thing keeping it anchored is the relentlessly tight percussion. The song bends and reels until its dramatic end; this is Giddy Motors. 'Hit Cap' incorporates a saxophone perfectly, and the result is a crescendo of epic proportions. 'Sassy' sports the closest thing on Make It Pop to a pop beat; it maintains the beat for about a minute, and then dissolves into more noise-punk.

By far the most surprising moment of the record is 'Venus Medallist,' a beautiful, sprawling? acoustic song?! The way the rest of the album progressed, I was waiting for a dense cacophony to drown out the peaceful strings, but for nearly five minutes the song continues at its relaxed pace. It's uninterrupted bliss in the middle of Bedlam; the medicine worked, I suppose? Perhaps, perhaps not, because 'Whirled by Curses' continues in much the same vein as the rest of the album; born from chaos and dying in chaos, the closing track of Make It Pop is perversely tense. De Vis screams his final goodbye as the landscape ranges from reeling power chords to epic plucking; the entire while, de Vis sounds like he?s singing on a bed of nails.

Throughout the album, de Vis shows incredible vocal range; he sings in anything from a whisper to a throat-shredding scream, and sometimes both in succession. His mood-swings are remarkable and often serve to confuse the listener emotionally. One never knows quite what to be feeling when listening to Giddy Motors. This captures confusion better than anything I've heard since Cap'n Jazz's chaotic indie/punk blend. That said, Giddy Motors take the sometimes tired genre of punk and infuse it with all the emotional difficulty that is Gaverick de Vis to create something unique. Punk, indie, modern free-form jazz and post-rock all converge to form a densely melodic sound. It's not punk, it's not indie; it's not any of those exhausted titles. From utter chaos to absolute peace, Make It Pop defies even the rarest of genres, yet attains a title even rarer than modern free-form-jazz-infused-punk; it's something refreshing and entirely new.

10.0 - Flawless 9.5-9.9 - Nearly perfect
9.0-9.4 - Essential
8.5-8.9 - Spectacular
8.0-8.4 - Highly recommended
7.5-7.9 - Impressive
7.0-7.4 - Very solid
6.5-6.9 - Consistent, but not without its flaws
6.0-6.4 - Enjoyable
5.5-5.9 - Better than average; not many standout qualities
5.0-5.4 - Nothing special, but nice enough
4.0-4.9 - Listenable; only a few enjoyable moments
3.0-3.9 - Not worth the price
2.0-2.9 - Pitiful
1.0-1.9 - Terrifying
0.1-0.9 - Redefines awful
0.0 - Avoid it like the plague