Grease Gun & Finding Serenity in Doom
It’s peculiar to see almost about a dozen and a half people sequestered to a dimly lit basement near downtown Nampa in late July, accompanied by the sweltering whip of a summer scorch. Stranger still, these people are here voluntarily. Thick veneers of sweat cling to the skin and the scent of body musk is aplenty. A few vines of Christmas lights illuminate the room, a few strain to see through the darkness.
Despite this, the rhythm of the room is tempered with anticipation. They watch as someone fiddles with some guitar pedals, another settles into the seat of a drum kit, and lastly as another person pushes their glasses up their nose, a bass slung across their neck.
The person with the guitar clears their throat, echoing dryly to the crowd. The guitarist talks about how their pedal would pick up an AM Christian radio station at the house they practiced at - where this show was originally going to be held. They talked about playing them a little Christian radio before the set, and how they weren’t able to do that anymore here as they were able to in Boise. Long before their voice trails off, the drummer bellows from the back of the room.
“Instead we’re here in GODLESS NAMPA.”
The music plays immediately after.
This is Grease Gun - the musical effort of bass guitarist Maggie McCormick, their twin Lyle, and the twins’ cousin Forrest Cambron (who you may remember as being lead vocalist of disbanded Boise locals Ditch Tiger.)
They play a sound that feels unique to the Treasure Valley - fiddling with a heavy, fuzzed out sound neatly tied together as Forest howls vocals in the background, occasionally joined by his cousins.
It’s hard to actually pinpoint an exact sound or inspiration for Grease Gun, though. It places somewhere in the realm of stoner and doom, but there’s a polarizing way their sound works that’s jointly discordant and unified, loud and tranquil. Through this contrastic confluence of elements, Grease Gun conjures music that feels deeply primordial. They’re tapping into predecessors like Electric Wizard or Sleep, but giving themselves room to expand upon that in order to peel away from sounding homogenous or stale as previous bands in these genres often fall prey to.
There's an underlying energy to Grease Gun, as if they're channeling the life of some secret ancient life force. In my head, I picture the opening scene of the 1985 anime Angel’s Egg, in which a shadowed figure bears witness to the emergence of a demonic entity.
Angel’s Egg (1985)
I got a chance to talk with bassist Maggie a little after their house show at Treefort. They shared some of the lyrics to a few Grease Gun songs. There’re tales weaved about doomed planets (No more bodies to sink in this swamp / no more bodies for the smokestacks / this planet is a mass grave), but also songs redolent of cowboys roaming the west, desolate wastes, and ethereal prophetesses.
Grease Gun’s music has the satisfying feel of cracking into a pulpy novel, playing around with images straight out of Octavia Butler and Louis L’Amour.
The band is currently working on putting a demo out soon, you can follow them on Facebook here, they’re also playing a show with Philly surf punks LE Yikes Surf Club and sadqueer locals buttstuff in Garden City on August 18th. Details for the event are available here.
August 10, 2017