The musical apocalypse is upon us. It is time to meet your creator and destroyer and turn towards the light and darkness and accept what has come to pass. The Gift, so new and yet so infinite have come from the mucky, expensive swamps of Washington DC in an effort to bring order from the chaos with chaos.
Actually, after seeing this band live a few times, I am quite pleased and a bit surprised at how focused of an album Mostly in Sickness is. Their self released demo tape last year was a noisy, lo-fi power punch filled with dirt and grit where all the layers piled up on each other burying the nuance I began to learn about the last time I saw this band. But with the release of this new album, the true and absolute beauty and power of The Gift has been unleashed.
I sat in my living room, the dark of night upon me and a lamp light was all that illuminated the room. I curled on my chair with a book about biology and Mostly in Sickness filled the air as I read. The music felt so familiar, so immediate, I responded instantly to it. It was, in all it’s buzzing confusion calming to my frayed nerves. I felt the same way I do when I listen to Lungfish. This is a band that speaks its own language. Sure, it’s a rock band with all the modern trappings of western rock music, but there isn’t any imitation in the sound. It’s a self-created form of communication.
Vocalist Beck Levy, known by some from the frighteningly intense Turboslut, in which wailing, screamed vocals were the norm, has transformed her vocal presentation with The Gift to momentous heights. She has developed this haunting, purr like delivery that shimmers over the heavy, trudging music. And as ghost like and ethereal and even spooky as it is, it’s also beautiful and pleasing. Such a combination of qualities is rarely found, it’s hard enough to even call what most vocalists do singing. Levy’s performance is one to be reckoned with and surely will not be easily forgotten.
Further, Mostly in Sickness finds the musicians in total sync with each other. The rich, deep metallic bass gives The Gift incredible weight, sinking every bash and thump into the gut. Henry Mesias is not merely accompanying the band, providing low-end. His sonic contribution shades the shimmering guitar parts with a brooding dark. Each song lays with great weight upon the ears. The marching band like drums in album opener “Sleep Forever” sound as though The Gift are going to war and when the explosion finally hits and the band comes crashing in, it’s hard not to feel like you are under attack, or at the very least under a spell. This is no surprise as Levy has brought her mysticism to The Gift, a charm and magic that is so rarely found.