Album Review: +/- by Buke and Gass(Gase) – 4 out of 5

Title: +/-
Artist: Buke and Gass
Rating: 4 out of 5
Purchase from: Bandcamp

So I do that long rant about reviewing albums that I haven’t heard before and then I start with one of my favorite albums of recent years for the first review. The alphabet can be a real pain sometimes. In any case, Buke and Gass (now Buke and Gase) was a band I discovered through the fabulous NPR show Radiolab. Buke and Gase consists of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez who play their homemade instruments including a Buke which is a baritone ukulele and a Gass which is a guitar-bass concoction. With these monsters of the junkyard, comes a captivating, driving cacophony of fantastic noise.

From the moment I first heard the explosive first track, “Run for You”, on +/-, I was hooked. Many of these tracks appear in a more polished form on their first LP, Riposte, but these first takes possess a raw energy that makes them well worth a listen. Other highlights on this album include “Bundletuck”, “Medicina” and “Outt!”

I keep searching for a genre description for this amazing duo. Folk Metal? Junkyard Indie? Post-apocalyptic bluegrass? It’s this very ability to escape classification that will make sure I keep listening to Buke and Gass for a long time to come.

New Reviews of Old Stuff

So, with the demise of my Project 365 experiment, I’ve been looking for some creative outlets for which I can use this blog. I’ve always been an avid collector of music but over the last decade or so, it’s gotten a little out of control. I’ve somehow ended up with a music collection of some 18,000 tracks across a few thousand artists and albums. However, the sad fact is that there is a huge swath of this music I have never actually heard. A lot of it has been picked up as daily deal albums or because it was highly reviewed on emusic and stuck in the music library where it sits awaiting the day where it shows up on the random playlist. Well, when your library gets this big, the chances of stuff showing up on the random playlist start getting pretty small.

Therefore, I’m going to start methodically going through the library and really sitting down and listening to whole albums. Like many people, I have been sucked into allure of the random playlist. This ever mutating set of artists, moods and styles feels like you’ve tapped into the best radio station on earth. However, I think something is lost when you only consume an artist’s work as discrete songs. There is something wonderful about the concept of an album; a collection of pieces that while separate in many ways also make up a piece of art together, whether intentionally or accidentally. I want to rediscover that part of music appreciation that I’ve been missing for a long time.

So, I’m going to start posting regular album reviews of both new stuff I acquire as well as my alphabetical run through my album collection.  I will also be posting movie reviews as well since I have a similar problem there, but not nearly as bad.  Hope you enjoy and let me know what you think.