album of the week: in heat - guppy
At the surface, Guppy seems like an unlikely group of heroes. On their debut full length, the band opens with an animated, and entertaining ode to 7/11, and as you settle into the groove of a single teeming with details, everything shifts, and suddenly the Los Angeles-based outfit is tackling gender. In a world that’s seemingly only getting worse each day, Guppy has arrived to examine life with slime-colored glasses. The band just wants to have fun, and thankfully, they’ve invited us along for the party.
From calling out abusers with promises to “make today your very worst day” on the aggressive “Blonde Mustache” to a bouncy acoustic ode that calls for a “Mental Health Month,” Guppy is unabashed in using an otherwise playful personality to address some very serious topics. This continues on “Sentimental,” a celebration of tenderness, and “The Loneliest Worm,” which comes complete with just a touch of twang, to back a confession of all too familiar, but often hidden feeling. The band completes this mission on the slowed down strums of closer “I Sucked All The Air of the Room (and Now I’ll Float Away),” which is anxiety enlivened in musical form, complete with repetitious mantras of being OK and a rundown of the thoughts you try to avoid (Is the oven still on? Is my laugh bad?).
It’s a special and remarkable talent that Guppy manages to turn its garage rock personality — which is often loaded with fuzz and catchy, memorable lyrics — into a voice willing to explore the darkest of corners. In Heat is fun, plain and simple, and as we continue to try and make it through each day, to avoid the news even for just a second, Guppy extends a hand, reminding you that someone else is probably feeling the same — even on their run to the nearest gas station.