That the opening track of ‘I, Gemini’ should be named after a maritime phrase meaning to throw something overboard is decidedly fitting given Let’s Eat Grandma’s propensity for avoiding convention. Though the two-piece format these days is far from innovative just on its own merit, it provides bands with a creative freedom not often afforded in larger line-ups, something which sees Let’s Eat Grandma almost-literally throwing the rulebook out the window.
With the aforementioned ‘Deep Six Textbook’, a track in itself both sombre and optimistic, the prevailing tone for the record is set. A psychedelic romp through a world of the duo’s own creation, ‘I, Gemini’ is at once both strikingly dissonant and sickeningly sweet. Built around a dichotomy of monochrome starkness and technicolour pop pomp, its flippancy is at times disconcerting, but it comes with the territory.
Twins in all but biology, it makes sense that Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth should name their record after such a star sign, an album comprised of two distinct personalities, diverse yet inextricably linked. ‘Eat Shitake Mushrooms’, for instance, is over two minutes of dark, jarring synth and haunting glockenspiel, before blooming into full-blown bubblegum pop complete with rap breakdown. ‘Sleep Song’ is another. Much like the album itself, it’s built around a dichotomy of melody and discord; a waltzing mournful accordion threading together layered vocal melodies.
Arguably the record’s centrepiece comes at its end. ‘Welcome To The Treehouse (I & II)’ reaches dizzying astral heights and imposing, tribal-like depths, before merging to create the album’s first true moment of concentrated harmony. It’s majestic.
That a record so dark and ripe with nuance can also harbour such blatant pop sensibility belies the duo’s young age while serving as a testament to their rampant eccentricities. Encompassing both a fairy-tale purity and an almost malevolent level of darkness, Let’s Eat Grandma fall somewhere in between the child-like innocence of Hansel and Gretel and the spectral qualities of the twins from The Shining. And while the effervescent pop might well often outweigh the darkness, just remember how Hansel and Gretel ended.
Words: Dave Beech
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