Back in the day, when this writer still had a full head of hair and aches only lasted a day, duos only came in the form of acoustic folk artists and bluesmen, then along came The White Stripes with their electric guitar and drums combination and suddenly amplified electric duos were everywhere. Nowadays it is almost as common to find a two man,/two women,/mixed sex duo strutting their stuff on the rock scene as it is the more traditional quartets and trio's. The underground doom/stoner scene, never a place to fall behind a trend, has had its fair share of duos in recent years with Iowa's Telekinetic Yeti and Seattle's Year of the Cobra leading the way, both bands creating huge walls of sound with minimum instrumentation.
One of the latest pairings to take up the duo torch and run with it are the Portland, Oregon twosome Anthony Gaglia (guitar/vocals) and Brady Maurer (drums) who have just released their second full release "L'affaire de Poisons" under the collective name of LàGoon.
For just two people LàGoon create a hell of a lot of noise, Gaglia's thick and sticky guitar refrains thrum and growl like an overloaded power cable on the verge of tearing apart while Maurer hits everything in sight with a ferocity that is almost primal. The bands sound falls somewhere between doomic low and slow and punkish aggression, the duo jamming grooves that although are heavy do not fall into the trap of being overly brutal and are balanced out by Gaglia's sneering and snotty vocals, the guitarists tones reminiscent of those found fronting many of NewYork's aspiring new wave /punk bands in the early to mid 70's. LàGoon demonstrate with "L'affaire des Poisons" that not only do they have the necessary musical chops to please the riff lovers and groove guru's out there but also that they have the songs into which they can insert those chops. Songs with titles like "Street Freaks", "Kill The Messenger" and "Distant Enemy" fizz and pop with a punkish energy yet are underscored with a dark doomic undercurrent that makes each song swing as much as it disturbs. Imagine, if you can the Stooges stripped down to a two piece jamming Kyuss songs and you might just get a grasp of what LàGoon are all about.
LàGoon's blustering fuzz drenched rock, with its doomic underbelly and garage rock attitude, is both highly enjoyable and strangely addictive and given that this is just two men with a guitar and a drum kit it is also deceptively and suprisingly loud and heavy.
Check 'em out …..
© 2018 Frazer Jones
#Vinyl format through Norwegian Blue Records is planned for release in October 2018