Acclaimed Chicago-based post-punk outfit and JOVM mainstays Ganser — founding members Nadia Garofalo (vocals, keys) and Alicia Gaines (vocals, bass) along with Brian Cundiff (drums) and Charlie Landsman (guitar) — can trace their origins back to when its founding members met while attending art school. Bonding over a mutual love of The Residents, outsider communities and the work of John Waters, the duo developed a hands-on DIY craftsmanship that eventually carried into their band: Each member of the post punk outfit shares writing duties and they collaborate on every aspect of their creative work, including videos, album art, merch and the visuals which often accompany their live shows.
Ganser’s 2018 full-length debut Odd Talk received widespread praise nationally and across the blogosphere with some critics comparing their sound and approach to Sonic Youth and Magazine. Thematically, the album focused on communication breakdowns — namely, the difficulties of being understood, avoidance, intimacy and avoidance.
2020’s sophomore album, the critically applauded Just Look at That Sky found the members of Ganser thematically probing the futility of striving for self-growth during chorus — all while evoking an all to familiar manic worry and generalized sense of existential dread and doom. It’s an album that seems to accurately captures our slow-burning, omnipresent hellscape.
Besides last year’s Look at That Sky Remixes EP, the Chicago-based JOVM have been busy working on new material — including their Angus Andrew co-produced, three-song Nothing You Do Matters EP.
Earlier this year, I wrote about “People Watching,” a woozy and expansive ripper that begins with a slow-burning and atmospheric, bass-driven intro before quickly morphing into a feverish thrash featuring slashing guitar attack, relentless four-on-the-four and squiggling bursts of electronics paired with Garofalo’s seething, irony-drenched delivery.
Arguably the most tense and uneasy song of their growing catalog, “People Watching” captures the mad and desperate senselessness —of well, just about everything right now.
LIARS’ creative mastermind Angus Andrew recently gave “People Watching,” the remix treatment — and the LIARS remix is bold and mind-bending rework that retains the propulsive energy, rhythm and acerbic vocal delivery of the original but transform the song into a kaleidoscopic, funhouse from hell-like club banger that sounds much like a garbled transmission beamed down from a UFO 20,000 light years away.
“We had worked on the original recording of ‘People Watching’ together at Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI so I was already super entwined with the song,” Andrew explains. “That familiarity gave me a lot of freedom with the remix. My goal was to maintain the great momentum and vocal delivery of the initial recording, but just give it all a big kick in the butt with synths.”
Nothing You Do Matters EP is slated for an October 5, 2022 digital release and a December 2, 2022 vinyl release through Felte Records.