Seattle quartet, Gazebos, formed in 2014, released its debut album and it would be sufficient to say that throughout the initial run through of this album, one will gather many different opinions. A little weird, a little classic, a little new. It would be a lie to say that this album does not explore both extremes of preference. You’ll dread an untimely instrumental break and get thrown back into a chorus loving every word in the same song. Gazebos’ Die Alone is a fresh take on what happens when that early ’80s femme-punk reminiscent of the Slits goes psychedelic and even progressive.
From start to finish, highs and lows can be found all over the album. “Just Get High” is a perfect example of this. Upon first hearing it, the tonal dynamic of the track assures that there are hidden bits of sound in its psychic twists and turns that you will find yourself audibly obsessing over later on. “Maintenance” is no different, although it is much less abstract. An element of instrumental layering is held in place and well formed as this jam-band-esque song rolls through. Tracks like “I Don’t Wanna Be Here” and “Blend” put serious emphasis on the character that is lead singer, Shannon Perry.
“I Don’t Wanna Be Here” is an homage and justification of the comparison to The Slits. A stand alone. “Blend” is a jam piece artfully blended with spoken word that piques interest, but one that fell flat for myself. “Ere Specka” is excellent and follows the prog-punk theme well. Admittedly, it may take a couple listens for it to truly stick with oneself at full impact. “There are Worse Things I Could Do” is a Grease cover. Somehow it works well and stands out as one of the better tracks on this album. It sounds like a slow, grungy monolith revived from the depths of ’94. Die Alone is curled by “Not Allowed) and “Boys Like,” both songs that arguably solidified this as a punk album rather than psychedelic, progressive rock, or anything else for that matter.
Gazebos, though, does require some personal investment to get into the first few tracks. Those first songs might not even resonate until a couple plays later. However, the last half of this album is worth the listen form the get go. If you find anything remotely appealing about rockabilly-esque ’80s punk, a (sadly rare) female-led psychedelic rockbound, or something satisfyingly out of your comfort zone, this album is for you.
Recommended If You Like: The Slits, Chastity Belt, Suburban Lawns
Recommended Tracks: 3 (I Don’t Wanna Be Here), 5 (Ere Specka), 8 (Now Allowed)