Release Date: Nov 10, 2009
Record label: Swim
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Githead’s third full-length album, Landing, features the sort of music you rock out to if you don’t want to move your feet (and are not inclined to headbanging). Githead’s Krautrock-influenced grooves pound and pulse, but they are as stationary as a treadmill, perfect if you don’t want to ruin your hipster ensemble while bobbing your head back and forth near the foot of the stage. There are lots of underground rock bands these days that trade in this sort of sound, focusing on hypnotic repetition as a vehicle for rocking out in lieu of bread-and-butter riffs or exaggerated dynamics.
What was immediately noticeable about Githead when they played their first live shows in mid-2004 was how appealingly if appallingly amateurish they were. The assembled onstage talent included Colin Newman, who had already led art-punk heroes Wire for over a quarter of a century, and Robin Rimbaud, who had spent a couple of decades carving himself a fair reputation in intellectual electronica circles, mostly as Scanner. There were also two members of respected, and equally experienced, Israeli art-rockers Minimal Contact, in the form of drummer Max Franken and bassist/vocalist Malka Spigel, who herself had previous duo experience with Newman over three records as Immersion and 18 years as wife.
Back when Githead released their first EP in 2004, I had no sense that the band would become such a long-running concern. A collaboration between the husband-and-wife duo Colin Newman (Wire) and Malka Spigel (Minimal Compact), and Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner), it looked like a quick one-off. But it had its own sound, albeit one reminiscent of both Wire and very early Stereolab-- driving rhythms, strong basslines, distorted and compressed guitars, and understated vocals.