When heavy music has a lot of layers to it people try and push it into a sub-genre or create a variant of an existing sound to pigeonhole the unknown into. But when the band producing the music is .gif from god all bets are off the table, as this is a band that cannot be constrained to any simplifying label. Extracting pieces of extreme metal, hardcore and mathcore – even putting this sentence together it seems a lazy way to describe the band – .gif from god have put together a collection of music in debut record approximation_of_a_human which really takes a few spins to fully understand what is going on. 

The collective based out of Virginia are always going to be lumped into circles with the likes of SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Vein (who they have actually done a split with) and Wristmeetrazor, but what puts them on a different playing field entirely is there doesn’t seem to be any thorough line of consistency in the band. Every single element of the album is unique and at times like on ‘Possible Futures in the Minds of Children’ there is a sense that they have thrown everything against the wall, it’s stuck and that is how the song has formed. Then like a flip of a switch the band can put together a track like ‘Kevin fell down the lube well…the perfect trap..’ which still has ferocious guitars that don’t seem to follow any form of musical pattern, yet somehow still turns it into one hell of a break down. 

On the surface everything about  .gif from god seems to point at they don’t take themselves very seriously – with track names such as ‘When You Yell At Me, Make Sure It Hurts My Feeling’ and ‘40,000 Jobs For A Cowboy & Counting’ there is a clear tongue in cheek element to what they do. That being said, there is so much sophistication that goes into their musical output and themes of personal struggle and political unrest .gif from god are a band who are bucking the trend and making listeners stand up and take notice. 

approximation_of_a_human is out 27th September via Prosthetic Records and can be via their bandcamp here and via Holy Roar here.

Words: Tim Birkbeck


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