“Alternate crying into then furiously punching your pillow lately? No? Let us help.”
Four-piece rock powerhouse GILT’s Bandcamp “About” section describes their newest LP Ignore What’s Missing best. The Jacksonville-based band is well aware of their ability to create a project that’s both angry and heart-wrenching, fervent and apathetic. On Ignore What’s Missing, they employ this ability to create a deeply poignant listening experience.
The album is unabashed rock. Grainy guitars and crashing cymbals bound across its soundscape. The melodies are addictive, with the hooks of the punk-ballad title track and the album’s first single “Flowers” being prominent and pleasant earworms. The record is truly unpredictable, scattered with jarring instrumental about-faces that yank the listener into an alternate universe. The vocals maintain a lovely youthful tremor while oscillating between fragile, furious, and frantic. A pick audibly grates against the coarse strings of the bass as it plucks on, its fantastic melodic lines breathing life into every song. It’s raw, but a polished raw that mirrors the eloquent yet uncut lyrical content. The album consists of visceral prose that recalls artists like Have A Nice Life and Car Seat Headrest. Each line carries the sacred and deeply personal aura of having been lifted verbatim from the margins of a prodigious poet’s high school English notebook. Hot-tempered, emotional, and dense with broad social commentary, it’s a sonically and lyrically articulate project that impressively manages to be so while preserving a rare honesty.
Every track brings its own character and substance to the record, but there are several standouts that would be criminal to disregard. “Children of Animals” unravels the falsehoods of the American dream, lamenting the attributive listlessness of today’s middle-class youth: “Something got lost when your parents gave up and bought this house / something got lost in the youth that was passed onto you / it was tainted and watered down,” the vocalists wail over roaring instrumentation. For a song about resigning to a lukewarm existence that one feels is inevitably set in stone for them, the track gives the listener the intense urge to dance. The deadpan “Sink And Tithe” is the most overtly political track on the album, though perhaps not too political for fear that it would “scare them away / Oh God, that’s what happened to Rage!”
“What Color Is The Light When It’s Turned Off” feels like the most eclectic track on the album, reminiscent of Talking Heads. The curious instrumental and vocal progressions mesh with lyrics that appear to describe the feeling of being detached from one’s self. The absence of context makes it thought-provoking and at the same time widely interpretable and relatable. The apocalyptic penultimate track “Car Seat” hosts one of the most striking moments on the album: “You could never be what they wanted / when they told you just to be yourself” is a piercing sentiment that seems to resonate across every track and is finally brought to fruition here. The album closer “I Didn’t Want You As A Mirror” ironically seems to reflect a piece of each preceding track across three minutes and twenty-nine seconds. The profound number depicts the narrator’s grievances with themself and their habits as they muse over an apparently failed relationship; however, the track closes on a note of hope for the future, with the bittersweet mantra “It’s still growth if it’s growing apart” slowly growing quiet as the album fades out.
In Ignore What’s Missing, GILT delivers their audience with a full-bodied LP brimming (and occasionally overflowing) with raw and delicious existential angst. One can’t help but channel their own frustrations into the slamming guitars and murderous drums. The listen is a cathartic emotional rollercoaster, one I urge everyone who hasn’t checked them out already to experience.