Guerilla Toss

Equal parts ecstatic and hallucinogenic, the genre-unrestricted group Guerilla Toss draw from no wave and noise as well as funk, punk, and psychedelia. Through endless touring and numerous releases on well-respected indie labels, the group became one of the most celebrated acts of the Northeastern American underground music scene throughout the 2010s. Originally from Boston, the group initially played harsh, discordant avant rock drawing from hardcore and free jazz, heavy on abrasive shrieking and complicated time signatures, as displayed on early releases like 2012's Jeffrey Johnson. By the time Guerilla Toss released Gay Disco in 2013, their sound had become much funkier, with mutant basslines enhancing the erratic rhythms. As their popularity grew, they moved to Brooklyn and signed to iconic dance-punk label DFA, and their sound became tighter, shinier, and more danceable on releases such as 2016's Eraser Stargazer and 2018's Twisted Crystal. Guerilla Toss were founded in Boston in 2010 by drummer Peter Negroponte, guitarist Arian Shafiee, and several other students of the contemporary improvisation department of the New England Conservatory of Music. This instrumental, free jazz-influenced iteration of the group released a handful of limited cassettes on labels like Digitalis and Sludgesicle Records. After playing a house show with hardcore band Western Syndrome, the group's vocalist, Kassie Carlson, joined Guerilla Toss in 2012. Her first releases with the group included the live cassette My Real Dad (Spooky Town Records) and studio LP Jeffrey Johnson (Feeding Tube Records), both of which were released in late 2012. Guerilla Toss began attracting a following outside of their Boston home base, with Brooklyn magazine The Deli naming them the Best Emerging New England Band of 2012. In 2013, John Zorn's Tzadik label released Guerilla Toss' self-titled CD, and Kicked Back into the Crypt, a split LP with no wave revivalists Sediment Club, was co-released by Feeding Tube and Sophomore Lounge. Also appearing in 2013 was Gay Disco, an LP released by NNA Tapes, whose co-founder Toby Aronson would briefly join the group the following year. This album marked Guerilla Toss' shift toward a more danceable sound, which they further developed on the 2014 EPs 367 Equalizer and Smack the Brick. In 2015, the members of Guerilla Toss relocated to Brooklyn. They signed with DFA Records, which issued the group's Flood Dosed EP near the end of the year. The full-length Eraser Stargazer followed in 2016, as did Live in Nashville and the remix EP Giant Claw vs. Guerilla Toss. GT Ultra, a much poppier, more focused Guerilla Toss full-length, appeared in 2017. Another remix EP, this time by experimental dub artist Jay Glass Dubs, followed later in the year. After bassist Stephe Cooper (of Cloud Becomes Your Hand) joined the group in early 2018, Guerilla Toss released Twisted Crystal, their most new wave-influenced album yet. ~ Paul Simpson

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