A different perspective on what pop music can be (…) ROCKDELUX Juan P. Holguera
So, here we are, grappling with Ghandi Rules OK once again. How do we have to understand them? One has the feeling that it is not a band, really, but rather a mental state. Has this band ever existed? Or is it yet to exist? To answer the first question, there is evidence that it has. Molds of discs with prototypes of songs shaped as mirrors reflecting impossible band ideals were found under Repetidor’s charitable and welcoming wing. We mostly refer to ‘Borda, va, borda’ (2011), that throbbing pulse turned album still resounding in a latent state today. And yet it seems that Ghandi Rules OK has never existed, doesn’t it? It’s like that band that one can envision exists but never comes to fruition, as if Godot was playing the waiting game one more time. Or maybe we just don’t get it and it is within the boundaries of such absurdity that the band comes to exist. Was ‘EP 1’ (2012) made while trapped in an illusion of existence? Did the band call the EP ‘one’ in hope that someday there would be a continuation? Well, who knows.
So then, let me tell you. On the other side of the threshold of this unsolvable temporal fold, happily settled in a derailed quantum spark, Ghandi Rules OK takes the opportunity to exist. Indeed, sprawled out on a cosmic sofa, drinking teas and patching up the rags adorning the spacesuit where their songs doze off, Oriol Solé and Toni Sistaré are extremely busy doing nothing. It is impossible to mention Ghandi Rules OK and not think of the Red Dwarf and its comical look at a glitchy, retrograde future, of superb fragility and endearing uncertainty. Inadvertently moving like crabs, Toni and Oriol stumble around, clumsily moving in a single direction: towards themselves. And it is in ‘Picnic i conills’ (Picnic and rabbits) that they come closest to ending up floating in their own orbit. Their new songs are like breadcrumbs left along a path not so much as to be able to retrace their steps as to try to avoid taking the same one back altogether.
‘Clar i ras’ (plain and simple): where they speak of ‘vestigis de cap més món’ (traces of a world no more), we see ‘futures relíquies’ (future relics). They are happy to gamble their own blood on one throw of the dice (jugar-se la sang als daus), and whether they win or lose we still come out on top, for we are left with 26 minutes of wisely refined art à la Ghandi. Like the attack of a barracuda, this LP hits you fast: faithful to its low-fi design, its understated pop brilliance dazzles you. Built around muscular and yet melodic bass lines and slightly mechanized beat box patterns, the songs are home to synthesizers, some fingerpicking work, voices and clarinets marching on in their most characteristic fashion. Surely this is what we would come to expect from Ghandi Rules OK should they ever exist. But hold your horses, we wouldn’t count on them being as infectiously inspired as they are on this LP. Oh, those gems! Or are we simply imagining everything? Is it that maybe we are bruising inside, as they sing in 2000 anys, and we can’t see clearly what’s going on here? Or are we toying with slippery theories in our heads, like the ones they talk about in ‘Fa l’efecte’? Be it as it may be, prick up your ears: you might hear a voice both new and strange (una veu nova i estranya), the mordant cry of a ravenous predator (un depredador voraç, de verb mordaç) calling your name. You’re on your own, love.