Suddenly, that extended, all-instrumental jam crashes into “Power + Status,” declaring immediately that, “I still get fucked up on week nights/ With people I don’t know/ When you’re not around” in traditional guitar-bass-drums structure. This is the Gervais you know best, full-throated and doubled delivery: “I talk a lotta shit about/ people I shouldn’t talk shit about.”
And he’s right. No one cares about that. Especially if he can combine with the likes of Mike Rodrigue to elicit pointed guitar solos and Jacob Battick’s alter-ego, AFRAID, to create the Moby-like “Good Times Roll,” a repeating and cycling mash-up of early rock and contemporary digitization. The piano is like a skipping CD at the open, pounding and insistent, but AFRAID is warm and inviting, careful in his delivery, not unlike Damon Albarn in “Tender,” which similarly rolls the same words around to see how they sound. Then we get a deep bass, a flute-like lilt, and some snare. Like the 7:18-long “Song 9,” it’s the kind of work you can listen to on repeat for hours if need be, though “Song 9” is more like something off the Sixteen Candles soundtrack, with Pretenders licks and a Men Without Hats keyboard line. Plus lyrics like, “I just want to hold you/ Sometimes/ I think I’d like to get to know you.”
Is that you, Ducky?
The whole thing is just ducky by me, I’ll say that. KGFREEZE doesn’t make easy pop fare, but you can see the wheels turning behind every track and you can listen to them for days on end.
VOLUNTEER | Released by KGFREEZE | with Sara Hallie Richardson + AFRAID | at Port City Music Hall, in Portland | March 21 | facebook.com/KGFREEZEmusic