God Hates Disco do not, in fact, make disco music. Maybe they’re fans, or maybe they hate Abba and The Bee Gees and their ilk. We dunno! And we dunno because it’s sometimes difficult to figure out their take on God.
‘Great Radio’ is shrouded in a contrapuntal rhythm made up of static radio voice-over samples and insidious Peter Hook bass circa Joy Division’s ‘Closer’. The voice-overs provide the themes – of which there are a few – all quite dense and intellectual, like the existence of alien life, the purpose of state religion, Angela’s Ashes and evolutionary science.
The first three songs on ‘Great Radio’ have to do with extra-terrestrial exploration and the possibility of beings with stridently different physical properties. The rhythm of all three describe frenzied, cinematic ambiance and the voice-over samples add some ethereal quality of a probing and monomaniacal occupation with alien-life.
Angel of the Lanes then makes use of a recording of an incendiary Gerry Hannon giving out about Frank McCourt’s take on Limerick City in the aforementioned Angela’s Ashes. Gerry wants Frank to apologise to his mother, and you don’t hear much of what Frank has to say but Gerry’s argument defeats itself and gives the listener the sense that you can’t be indebted for your whole life – at some point you have to break free and give your own opinion.
Sunday Service has the droning qualities of either the sound of a rushed prayer in mass or the excitable tone of a racetrack commentator trying to keep up with the action. At this point the static and undulation between clear voice-over and buried voice-over begin to make sense.
This sense explodes on Uniformitarian Naturalism as debates rage about the validity of evolutionary science above ambiance reminiscent of Boards of Canada. Some sentences are inaudible – the senseless parts? The parts you couldn’t comprehend anyway even if they were clear enough to hear? While, at the same time, you can’t quite help but wonder why these people are arguing over religion, the belief in which is purely individual choice, instead of alien life – which, like it or not, is tied up in state-held finances.
There is the sound of a mind-set being played out throughout the album. You could say it is like an acid trip mentality, but there’s more of a whiff of buried memory, defeated ideas that will never make sense no matter how hard you try to remember.
All of this is played out with instrumentals that are creeping, but rhythmic enough to provide a basis on which the static recordings and lightning thin synthesizers are upheld. The bass sometimes feels many layered, while guitars often have an echoing tremolo-like vibe.
Their use of recordings is also absolutely brilliantly thought-evoking. They keep it stormy and somewhat melodic, but highly interesting as well – a hard thing to find. There is a sense of a narrative to this album but it is so mysterious that any attempt to attach a theme only leads you down the rabbit-hole of conspiracy.