The Gordons The Gordons LP + Future Shock EP reissue
The twin gold-standards of ’80s Kiwi DIY, newly reissued and made accessible once again (as they should forever be). Christchurch’s GORDONS laid down a fully-formed statement of intent on their debut, 1980’s three-song Future Shock EP, with flares of white heat intensity sparking against an unyielding mechanical grind—plenty bleak and austere in a post-JOY DIVISION trajectory, but always fully visceral. The title track is a nearly five-minute pressure burst of jagged, lacerating guitar and increasingly desperate vocals, like MISSION OF BURMA in total panic overdrive, with “Adults and Children” taking the insistent rhythmic jabbing of UK post-punk acts like GANG OF FOUR to its harshest (and loudest) extreme. That caustic sheet-metal clang stretched and sprawled into some extended drones for the GORDONS’ self-titled 1981 LP, existing in the liminal space between the cold, foreboding soundscapes of WIRE’s 154 and GLENN BRANCA’s guitar-driven No Wave wall-of-sound, to eventually be followed by SONIC YOUTH’s own reinvention of the latter. Both the EP and LP were originally self-released by the band, but given a wider re-release (for the first, and until now, only time) by Flying Nun back in 1988, and the significance of that retroactive endorsement by the most influential of labels in the NZ underground is major—this is about as far as you can get from common conceptions of the “Flying Nun sound,” and the GORDONS will absolutely dismantle any mental hierarchies of such that you might have already formed.