Giddy Motors: Make it Pop

Giddy Motors
Make it Pop
Fat Cat

I have it on no one's authority that Gaverick de Vis can wipe the rec room in a game of Battleship. That is to say, the charismatic vocalist for London power-trio Giddy Motors has such a way with glottal fodder that I envision him practicing the game's torpedo noises in his downtime. As acerbic voices go, his only real competition is Steve Albini, who happened to engineer Giddy Motors' debut. Evocative of Albini's cold-war punks Big Black, de Vis's sturdy rhythm section allows his excursions into the whimsical to truly let Make it Pop do exactly what its title suggests.

Motoring away with a dense drum roll and self-congratulatory yeeeeah-waaah-ooooh, "Magmanic" finds de Vis not so much singing or speaking, but spitting his words--a blithering spat of whisper-yell-scream. "Hit Car" fiddles with Contortions-style saxophone and dance-club friendly basslines. De Vis's vocal rhythms are decidedly out of step as he opts for absurdist blather: "Enter-TAIN/I sa-AY." In lieu of actually constructing verses, the linguist in him prefers to sound things out, enjoying the way words feel in his mouth, like sour candy. The song escalates into a full screaming match between de Vis and alto sax. The sax sinks. Amen.

Giddy Motors' real victory, though, is "Sassy," which packs rhythmic hypertension with de Vis's red-cheeked fury and laughing-on-the-outside lines like "How I love it when you put me down." "Dog Hands" resurrects Jesus Lizard's murky guitar filter, with de Vis offering the levity of a broken slide-whistle. And by the time strings are tossed into "Venus Medallist," you wonder: Is the move a curious nod to Albini's love of the cinematic? Or is it just an excuse for de Vis to play the iconoclast? Whatever. At that point, the atmospherics have been stomped out by bass and guitar, and you, the listener, have been seized. Game over.

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