Man. I really wish the above was a full video for Mr. Gnome's "House of Circles," rather than just a teaser for their latest album. Cleveland's Mr. Gnome gives off the distinct impression that they're on the precipice of being much larger than they already are, and lucky you, you can see them tonight at Exit/In for only $10. I wrote a Critic's Pick about it, I did. 'Ave a look-see, won't you?
By and large, the two-piece-rock-outfit template has secured a pretty comfortable place in the modern zeitgeist. And while that’s fine — I mostly have no complaints regarding, say, Flat Duo Jets or The White Stripes or The Black Keys — for all their rusty, over-the-top blues-stomp, they sometimes lack density, diversity and power. Only sometimes, but still. Sometimes. Fellow Rust Belt duo Mr. Gnome, however, seldom seems to suffer from that problem on their brand-new Madness in Miniature. Songs like the sprawling, six-minute “House of Circles” flip the switch from ambient and dreamy to unforgiving and riff-fueled, landing somewhere between the mathy post-rock of Battles and the psychedelic hard rock of Queens of the Stone Age. Frontwoman Nicole Barille drops mile-thick slabs of distorted and pitch-shifted guitar, her vocals dynamic and emotive, while drummer Sam Meister blasts his way through complex, thoroughly engaging beats that, to be perfectly honest, you’re just never going to hear from any of the aforementioned Rust Belt duos. Seriously though, there are only two of them, and they aren’t samey, thin or predictable. What gives, Mr. Gnome? You’re confusing us. Explain yourselves. —D. PATRICK RODGERS
Locals Fuckshow — candidates for my favorite band name in town — open, along with Bigwhig.