GULL - The Thin King [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Thin King [7 inch] (2009)


GULL is not easy to pin down, and doesn't even necessarily cater to the hallmarks of the hard-driving noise rock the band's label, Molsook, usually distributes. It's the sole conception of one Nathaniel Rappole, who normally plays in Ultra Dolphins and Snack Truck; on the side, it's this, where he supposedly "plays guitar with his left hand, drums with his right, and sings through a telephone receiver embedded into a skull mask." Yet The Thin King is a pretty interesting quartet of unpredictable experiments that make more and more sense given attention.

"Chain Saw It Comin" begins with some weird guitar string fiddling--I think--before it transitions into a dizzying, mathy-sounding riff that sounds lifted from a Don Cab song, Then almost Hindustani-esque singing enters the fold and the song becomes something of a diet Jesus Lizard when more "traditional" singing is used. "The Frozen Steppe" utilizes what sounds like some finger taps, interspersed among an instrumental jam, the tone of which reminds me of the quieter minimalism of Fugazi's "The Argument" as it ends and seeps into the next song, "Of Dead Men, Now B Goin." Rappole establishes the most melodic moment in closer "With Eyes in Fyr," a slow, simpler tune where his voice is distant-sounding but the most emphatic you'll find him on the 13-minute 7".

While the subtleties are maybe exaggerated on this release a bit, as it doesn't nearly grab you by the neck like Rappole's other bands, it's definitely worth a listen for the curious and those harboring a mild fetish for the exotic.

Chain Saw It Comin