Thursday 30 April 2020

GAUPA ~FEBERDRÖM ..... review

Having a unique sound is something every band and artist strives for, sadly this is somewhat of a rarity in rock music and this is mainly because a lot of bands and artists are, intentionally or unintentionally, a sum of their influences. Every now and then though a band comes along that buck this trend and arrives with a sound that is completely and utterly original. Sweden's Gaupa are one such band, the Falun quintet of Emma Näslund (vocals), David Rosberg (guitar), Daniel Nygren (guitar), Erik Jerka Sävström (bass) and Jimmy Hurtig (drums), jam an unconventional groove that takes in aspects of psych, prog, folk and hard rock and presents them in such a way that you would be hard pressed to mistake them for any other band, something you will no doubt come to realise when giving their second full length album "Feberdröm" a spin.

If your going to try to catch your listeners attention from the outset then you need to grab their interest with something that hits hard and leaves an impression and you could not come up with a better song to do that than opener "Vakuum" a crunching rocker packed with rotating guitar motifs and driven by a tight but fluid rhythm section. It also helps if your a vocalist has a voice that is powerful and unique and can give your songs a whole extra dimension and dynamic. Gaupa have such a vocalist in Emma Näslund. her vocals possessing an endearing crackle and pop that will inevitably draw comparisons with the alt/pop princess Bjork, however where the elfin Icelandic chanteuse tends to get a little shouty and screamy at times Näslund soars, roars and even whispers with confidence, power and supreme control. Musically Gaupa are a revelation a band able to shift up and down the gears with consummate ease ,a band able to switch from crunching and heavy to serene and lilting in an instant, Sävström and Hurtig supplying a diverse array of rhythmic groove for guitarists Rosberg and Nygren to decorate with a mix of growling refrains, soaring lead work and gently swept arpeggios. As well as having the vocals and the musicianship Gaupa also have the songs, heavy rockers that crunch and growl ("Where The Emperor's Grows"), folkish psychedelic laments with proggish undertones ("Grycksbo Gånglåt"), heavy blues workouts ("Alfahonan {Shooting Blanks"}) plus many more that will dazzle, delight and leave you wanting to hit replay again and again.

Some might describe what Gaupa deliver on "Feberdröm" as being "quirky", and in some respects that is true, Desert Psychlist prefers however to describe Gaupa's sonic onslaught as being "angular", a music with many edges, a music that doesn't quite conform to normal patterns and rules and is all the better for that.
Check it out …. 

© 2020 Frazer Jones

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