The Gossip

Standing In The Way Of Control | Kill Rock Stars
By MATT ASHARE  |  March 22, 2006
3.0 3.0 Stars

The GossipLike White Stripes, the Gossip have always been masters of making a lot out of little — just drums, voice, and guitar. And they’ve kept one foot planted in punk while exploring garage-rocked variations of R&B, as in roots ’n’ blues, with the other. But the two outfits come from different worlds: instead of dirty Motor City blooze, the Alabama-bred Gossip kept Southern gospel and soul in their hearts when they made the move to the Amerindie capital of Olympia. Frontwoman Beth Ditto’s belting has its roots in both the gritty sexuality of Big Mama Thornton and the uplift of Calvin Johnston’s vision of International Pop Revolution dance party, and she brought some much needed sex to the scene. But after half a dozen years together, Ditto and guitarist Nathan Howdeshell (a/k/a Brace Paine) found a new drummer (Hannah Blilie), and on Standing in the Way of Control, subtler soulful numbers like “Dark Lines,” a slow burner with a backdrop of simple bass thumps, lightly tapped tom-toms, and piano chords supporting Ditto’s whisper of a voice, offset the heavy pounding of reverb-drenched screamers like “Eyes Open.” The spooked croon of “Coal to Diamonds” gives Ditto a chance to explore the emotional dimensions of that big voice of hers; “Yr Mangled Heart,” a funk-fried jam with tribal refrains, is custom-built for a little raw-throated screaming. Standing in the Way of Control is the sound of a band in transition — a promising sign from a trio who once seemed happy enough riding a one-trick pony off into the sunset.

The Gossip + Panther + UV Protection | March 26 | Middle East downstairs, 480 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.864.EAST
Related: Indie gets the blues, Song feast, Out, loud, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Beth Ditto, The White Stripes, Big Mama Thornton,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY MATT ASHARE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   SEND IN THE CLOWNS  |  July 02, 2009
    The New York Post got to resurrect its priceless "Wacko Jacko" headline. Barbara Walters scored Super Bowl-level ratings without having to lift a pretty little finger. And Michael Jackson, well, no matter how you slice it, he got screwed royally.
  •   ARRESTING DEVELOPMENTS  |  September 16, 2008
    Lack of talent, charisma, and/or personality can prevent a good band from achieving greatness — but too much of a good thing can also be a problem.
  •   ROCK THERAPIES  |  July 22, 2008
    A little over four years ago, the Boston music scene lost one of its cuter couples when singer-songwriter Blake Hazard and guitarist/producer John Dragonetti left town for LA.
  •   FORTUNATE ONE  |  July 07, 2008
    It was no surprise to find Chris Brokaw in Hawaii last week, just two Saturdays before he’s due back in Cambridge to pull a double shift upstairs at the Middle East.
  •   BOSTON MUSIC NEWS: JULY 11, 2008  |  July 08, 2008
    The New Year, a band the Kadanes started with Chris Brokaw on drums a decade ago, are still a going concern.

 See all articles by: MATT ASHARE