By Creature With The Atom Brain
After two vinyl-only EPs, The Snake and Kill The Snake, I Am The Golden Gate Bridge is the first full-length album from the bizarrely named Creature With The Atom Brain, the brainchild (no pun intended) of Aldo Struyf. This guy played keys and later guitar in rock band Millionaire and is probably the closest you could get to a famous Belgian, bar Hergé. There's nothing stereotypically Belgian about this record however.
Whereas fields, rain and pissing boy statues characterise much of the latter, I Am The Golden Gate Bridge is clogged with loud hook-heavy guitar riffs and sumptuously disturbing vocals.
Passing-by a somewhat unremarkable intro, the second track '16 Inch Revolver' oozes stoner rock, with a truly weighty riff and an awesome melody. Ploughing on through, the record boasts some sublime rhythms, notably on 'Black Out, New Hit', 'Is That Lady Sniff,' and 'Rapeman's Scalp', punctuated by blips of synth and a multitude of vocals, some contributed from Tim 'Millionaire' Vanhamel (another famous Belgian) and Mark Lanegan.
'Rapeman's Scalp' opens like a mantra of chattering cockroaches whilst 'Is That Lady Sniff,' takes on a different tempo; a slow 70s inspired melancholic drawl.
I Am The Golden Gate Bridge is a record that refuses to sit comfortably. It's full of songs that resist conformity, some melodies that refuse to end, others that seem to never get going. It's a disorientating listen, schizophrenic almost. Sometimes heavy and explosive and at other times hauntingly soothing.
If you need any more persuasion to check this record out, how about that Creature With The Atom Brain recently toured alongside Jesus And Mary Chain? Yeah, I thought that might work.