Thursday, January 7, 2010

GNARLENE PULLS A FAST ONE The muddy Duwamish River runs through South Park, a grimy down-and out neighborhood south of Seattle. The river pulls chemical and industrial sludge from up-river as it passes through. The slow-moving water’s chemical content probably accounts for the oddball behavior of Gnarlene, one of one of South Parks oddest behaving residents.
Gnarlene is proudly gay and/or lesbian and strives to confuse your gender conceptions and bedazzle your fashion senses. He combines black levis and Chuck Taylor’s with pink wiggage and jewel-encrusted sweater creations. So what music do you expect from this bearded, pink-haired former radical faerie? Striesand? Lady Gaga? Show tunes? Fuck you. How about metal with trashy Doll-esque licks, lyrics and looks? Gnarlene is the perverted offspring of post-grunge and punk rock bathed in the unholy waters of faggotry. Gnarlene even throws in a bit of Country-Western and twee folk music just to fuck-up the mix. Maybe it's the PCB's. Maybe it's the heavy metals. Maybe it’s the cool, artistic vibe that permeates the area, that causes it to reek with wanton self-expression. Whatever it is, South Park has provided the inspiration for Gnarlene’s best work to date. Blood & Treasure is her sophomore (and sophomoric) release and it rocks really hard. The album is filled with catchy punk/pop as well as a few totally unexpected turns. Recorded at Self-Adhesive Records in Fremont/Seatttle by Jon Goff and mastered by Barry, it combines the best traditions of Seattle rock with the vision only a queer lost among rockers is capable of. Think Mudhoney meets Flight of the Conchords meets gay Frankenstein. The music can be just as raw as it is polished, but Gnarlene has made poverty a virtue. The video clip of Blood & Treasure’s first single She’s Got A Fast One was made for less than forty bucks and it shows. It couldn’t be more perfect if it cost a couple million and was directed by George Lucas. Gnarlene is backed by old geezers, escapes from a rent-a-cop with a squirt gun a his prop and drives away in one hell of an art car!
This is fun stuff…but it’s dangerous too. Blood & Treasure defies easy categorization. It’s aggressive but not angst driven. It’s not simpering queer-core by a long shot. You might do some head-banging on one song and scratch it and wonder during the next. It’s music from an outsider that prefers to be there. It’s juvenile, puerile, and totally rockin'…just how it’s meant to be.
Watch 'She's Got A Fast One' by Gnarlene

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love Gnarlene! The South End wouldn't be the same without her!