Let's play a quick game. Can you name a rock supergroup that went on to become bigger than its members? Kind of tough. Let's try something easier: can you name for me a rock supergroup that was ever any good to begin with? Broken Social Scene doesn't count because the individual career successes came afterward. Take them out, and the rest are slim pickings. Thom Yorke's Atoms for Peace? Billy Corgan's Zwan? Please. No one likes supergroups, and I'd question anyone who swore otherwise.
Gayngs are a bit different. I guess you could loosely throw them into the supergroup fold (members include guys from Bon Iver, The Rosebuds, Andrew Bird, etc.), but that's lazy. Their debut album, Relayted
, deserves more than that, and to say it's different from anything else currently out there would be a vast, vast understatement.
For starters, the album sounds like a late night commercial for '80s by Candlelight
. You know: a fireplace in the background. The silhouettes of a sweaty tangled couple. Only with Relayted
, it's an uncomfortable kind of sexy, and shoots for the same quiet storm territory as Sade and Vandross. The big difference is Gayngs consists of a bunch of lanky awkward indie guys, and even though you know they're kind of kidding about this whole thing, you can't help but get the feeling that they're secretly really into it.
Most of the tracks are headlined by different falsettos hemorrhaging geeky white guy libido. "The Gaudy Side of Town" opens with a Kenny G. saxophone riff that sounds like, well, Kenny G. "Crystal Rope" does something similar, only it uses a slow gyrating bass line underneath obstinately cheesy synthesizers. The album's closer, "The Last Prom on Earth" may as well have been written by Christopher Cross himself.
In all honesty, part of me wants to believe this album is genius. And it probably is. It's definitely more parody than pornography, but I feel like it's a stunted sort of genius that will never be anything more than a flash in the pan. It's good. Undeniably funny. But — and I think this goes for all good parodies — you only really have to hear it once to get the idea. - Chris Gayomali
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MP3: "Faded High" (Relayted)
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