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Gogogo Airheart

Since 1997, San Diego's Gogogoairheart's blend of soul, punk, folk, and art rock has left listeners simultaneously scratching their heads and reaching for their wallets. The band combines elements of the noisy, dirty punk rock often associated with San Diego bands like Swindle with groovy, Nation of Ulysses-style agit-prop soul and a healthy dose of arty improvisation. The result falls somewhere between The Pop Group (GGGAH includes a cover of "Trap" on the album) and the sound of an exploding jukebox, and it's catchy as hell. Led by guitarist Michael Vermillion, GoGoGo Airheart tends to opt for extra-short bursts of noise, anchored by a deep, dubby low-end and slashed by razor-edged guitars and occasional vocals. Touches of saxophone, organ, lap steel, and electronic bleeping add interesting textural layers to the guitar, bass, and drums. GGGAH is an art band you can dance to -- though it will probably be a very strange dance.

The group emerged from the prodigious San Diego punk and indie rock scene that has raged throughout the '90s and beyond, initially issuing a series of cassettes, before venturing out on tour up and down the West Coast and releasing their first seven-inch single. 1997 saw them release their self-titled debut album, while Love My Life...Hate My Friends came a year later. In 1999 the group released a seven-song EP, Things We Need. In 2000, they returned with a third full-lenth, a self-titled effort on GSL

The songs on the band's self-titled 2000 album veer between frantic, Factory-influenced punk (the featured "Golden Sundays"), trippy studio effects-laden improvisation ("For Your Will"), and funky free-association noise fests ("Out Every Window," also featured here). "These Honor Suits" comes from Slowdance's Che Fest 1999 compilation.