Insect Armour Plates

by Gnomefoam

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about

From www.disagreement.net

I remember the good, old times – about one or two years ago – when Steve Bromley aka Gnomefoam produced Audacity-crafted mash-ups of experimental proto pop music. Earlier this year he surprised me with the unexpectedly song-oriented Squirrelcore, which I considered a huge improvement. That’s why I didn’t expect not even a year later to get another one of his self-made albums that once again saw an impossible surge in creativity.

Insect Armour Plates should have no right to be as great as it turned out to be. Considering that the act of composition and recording took less than a year, this is one hell of a record. I have no idea how much of the music is borrowed from unknown sources and how much the artist performed himself, but what is important is the final result, and that is highly listenable. I won’t go so far as saying that gone are the times of experimentalism, but Gnomefoam nowadays totally masters the art of combining catchy songwriting with crazy sound generation. The overall impression is very lo-fi, not unlike Ariel Pink and his Haunted Graffiti, but there are so many different genres mixed together that half the fun is already discerning the different influences. The main ingredients are alternative hip hop and indie pop (the former comparisons I drew to Why? still make sense), yet there are also the occasional breakbeats, weird electronica, spoken word samples that further the strange yet utterly compelling music.

In the past, Gnomefoam’s albums always sounded like an entity, making it hard to point out a highlight. This doesn’t count for Insect Armour Plates any longer though. Nearly every song has something that makes it stand out on its own, starting with the opener Nightswing which starts like a cheesy Eighties influences Alphaville hit before turning into a lo-fi electro pop marvel. The following Date Night’s first half comes with a groovy bass line and a rocking guitar, before its second half displays the artist’s hip hop affinities. DINOZE has an inexplicable Nintendo flair and is a winner already just because of the enchanting synth work. Mixtaper is a long extrapolation of what happens when you mix together hip hop with breakbeats. I could go on like that, but why don’t you just check out the album which can be streamed on Gnomefoam’s Bandcamp page, and even downloaded for the amount of money you choose (even free, but that is if you only want to listen to the music without supporting the artist… although why you would want to do that is hard to understand).

The Internet features a lot of artists who offer their music for free, but let’s face it: most of them are not worth your time. Steve Bromley is a laudable exception, and everyone you can imagine to like music that has the lo-fi charm of Ariel Pink combined with the experimentalism of a Max Tundra, plus a dose of over-caffeinated Why?, must check out Gnomefoam’s latest stroke of genius. There is no way you are going to regret it!

credits

released November 30, 2011

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about

Gnomefoam Bradford, UK

Gnomefoam is Steve Bromley. Glitchy, IDM-tinged bedroom produced hip-pop with occasional abstract drone & spoken word tendencies. According to www.disagreement.net, Gnomefoam has, "the lo-fi charm of Ariel Pink combined with the experimentalism of Max Tundra, plus a dose of over-caffeinated Why?" ... more

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Track Name: Nightswing
I'm not going to work anymore
It's not healthy any more
As pressures soar
You know the score

This is a new foam sound
I'm gonna take it all over town

When you find it going way too far, rewind
Tonight
Cassette ribbons take you back in time rewind
Tonight

Does my curriculum vitae define my name?
Or my shit slinging fuck upping public shame?
In this uptight man's frown
Screw loose, diet juice
When the missed target swings free
Assassination bumblebee
Oiled torso not mine
Excavation landslide
Indigo beast lease
Information free feast
Rewind these times to wipe the slate clean
Try to start again, repair this rusted machine

When you find your insides burnt, rewind
Tonight
Cassette ribbons and lessons learned, rewind
Tonight

When your family photos they start to fade
Bottled wine now piss and lemonade
When the records that you've played
Start to crackle and warp
You were once a big man
Now a sparrow not a hawk
Old grit just shit
False teeth, hull breached
Dust leaf, breasts leaked
Seeped, freaked, peaked
Weakened manhood that no longer seems keen
Try to start again, repair this rusted machine

I'm not going to work anymore
It's not healthy any more
As pressures soar
You know the score
Failure's the law
I'm not leaving this attic again
In my mind I'll lock me in
The dreams inside
This place I'll hide

Sunset! Sunset! Sunset! Sunset!

You seem so tiny at night
Darkness gathers across your eyes
Crucifixes tumble from my mouth
As the crack in the sky reclaims our bones
Track Name: Date Night
Forget all this solitude
Let's try some social ineptitude

A look in the mirror
A straightened hair
I shake my head at the state of me
A shrug, a laugh
Some bubble bath?
Forget that, I'm me!

Date night, it's a date night...

In front of the wardrobe
A horrid place
I open up see the junk inside
A shrug a laugh
A shirt and tie?
Forget that, I'm me!

Date night, it's a date night...

Irises warp twist back the clock
Get dressed again don't mess it up
Irises warp turn back the clock
Try it again don't screw it up

I get to the bar, and there she is
A low cut top and a mini skirt
I trip and fall
A goofy mess
For fucks sake, I’m me

Date night, it's a date night...

She drains a drink and sashays by
A pity grin and a head held high
I spit I swear, screwed up again
Why the hell am I me?

Date night, it's a date night...

Like Lego bricks, we're gonna break up this scene
Coloured blocks smashed up obscene
Rearranged into new directions
Less of a shit mess, more of a success
Social success, conversation mind chip
Psychedelics and the Elephant Six
Townhall, falling down this Donnie Darko tube
From the bar to the bathroom then to my room
Aliens send me a fucking robot Gok Wan
Making over this mess, can it be done?
Should it be done? Will it be done?
Set my wardrobe on fire and my phasers to stun
Rainbows swirl and clocks tick in reverse
Tearing backwards the time and universe
Slow this down it’s a marvel to behold
Let’s not be cold, lets type this shit in bold
A wonder to behold, give me your hand to hold
Through to old age, new page, marriage
But first my image, lets sort out my image
So let’s get back to the makeover
Robot Gok, chop chop, start the supernova
Haircut, make up, go clothes shopping
Haircut, you there, start the chopping
Trimming, consult and restyling
New hair’s flaming and we’re flying
Flying through those Lego clouds
Let’s get strapped into that outfit now
And while we’re at it, let’s lose that shit
Attitude to life, attitude to you
The social misfit says fuck you!
Let’s not fuck you, but maybe do
Some fucking too, some loving you
But not alone, let’s try with two
Or three or four, or fifty more
That’s what this makeover is for
I'm gaping now, please lift my jaw
An ego boost, refill my juice
I’m feeling frisky, lovely, loose.
Track Name: DINOZE
The grass is high above our heads
And sweeps down to the trees
There's dinosaurs living in this world
And we're the size of fleas
Track Name: Mixtaper
In this room I'm mix-mix taping
Messed up and mis-mistaking
Tearing up and burning down
Down, down, down...
It's the end of days, you hear?
You can tell it from my playlist, yeah!
It's not the end I wished for
But it's an end at least

Let’s watch them burn…

There's some IDM at the start of the mix
Some tapping sounds and far off ticks
And then onto the shittest shit gaze
Distorted through this smoky haze
Let's whack on some freak folk
Choked up on that hazy smoke
The room’s flooding with clouds
Door handles melting now
There’s flames now
I saw you outside with the matches
Watching as the spark catches
You want me out, out of this life
I've put on some lo-fi
Some scratchy out of tune mess
But if I die now, it's for the best
So, please make sure you hear this mix
It's fucking awesome - yes, Miss?!

All you folks way over there
With bleach blond eyes
And piercing hair
I won't belong to you
And all the folks with sharpened features
Elbow deep in snowy beaches
Won't belong to you

Funky hip hop, wonky, crank
Post rock, techno, bail funk
Dub step, grime step, two step, dub
Shit you'll dance to in a club
Folktronica and shoe gaze
Surf pink, nerd core, prog and chill wave
Witch house, pop, drone, psychobilly
Riot grrrrl and roots reggae
And blah blah blah blah blah
Shit you like when in the car
The musical pinnacle by far
Shit you like when in your car!
Track Name: Breft
The crane splits up my eye line
Bathed in pink and orange light
And I'm sliding to the hospital
To burn up through the night
And they're biting at my ankles
And they're pulling out my hair
It's violent interrogation
Through electrifying air

In town I'm a disappearing nightmare
Big drops and I'm falling through the cracks here
Dragged through the earth, a nail and a claw
Buried under pavement
In a hell called Ignore

Breft! When you're missing pieces
Breft! When your pain increases
Breft! When the lacks proves too much
And you wanna smash the place up
Just to get in touch

Scaffold wraps my tendons now
Construction rising high
And the rust attacks my foundations
It's spreading deep inside
And my wings are losing feathers
To the sewer and the lair
It's the seething land of serpents
And I'm tumbling past repair

It's night and the knives are coming out now
Teeth filed and were screaming steaming shout now
Spikes up my spine, a scale and a claw
Changing into painful
In the hell called ignore

Breft! When you're missing pieces
Breft! When your pain increases
Breft! When the lacks proves too much
And you wanna smash the place up
Just to get in touch
Track Name: Trapped in Panels
I told you
You told her
She told him
He told everyone
I told him
He told you
You told her
She told the world

Trapped in panels
Trapped in panels
Track Name: X-Mat
Don't step out the door you can still take more

There's a badge to be earned from taking the pain
From taking my beatings out in the rain
Watch me as I fall on my knees
Watch me as my eyes bleed
Track Name: Octopus
We never should have to apologise for the way we are
Not now

This is what the guy came here for
Gold, some cash and take a piece o'
Stuff lying around unwanted
Unused this house is haunted
Stench of dead lives unlived
Let's tear this open, lift the lid
From off this mess, it's for the best
And let the guy now lift the rest
He can swipe the carpets if he wanna
Needs to steal 'em, best not leave-a
Thing left in this house of doom
I want to sit in empty rooms
As spiders weave webs about my feet
Tied up with my internal beat
The sound that pumps inside my head
Beats me, ties me to this bed
With lurid nightmares and I'm sick
So stat away people, that’s my tip

And there's a reason the foam will never meet
The world at large, the world at large
And there's a reason my face cannot be seen
By the world at large, the world at large
I've built this wall, you've built it too
It's for protection, it's what I do
Cos I've built this tower, you've built it too
We'll never meet it's what we do
And there's a reason the world will never meet
The foam at large, the foam at large
The world at large
Track Name: Skip Stones
And the day's
A blast of light
Shooting into my chest
And out the other side
It pins me to the seat in the cage
A fossilised exhibit!
Behind glass
A fossilised exhibit!
Surrounded by lasers
A fossilised exhibit!
Behind glass
A fossilised exhibit!
Surrounded by lasers
Surrounded by lasers

And I throw the stones at the machines
They skip between those restraining beams
And smash away at their blinking lights
Can I escape these restraints tonight?

And my brain's
A jet of juice
That shoots right through my skull
Into the air outside
It fills me with the will to proceed
A freed prisoner
From behind bars
A freed prisoner
Escaped from the lasers
A freed prisoner
From behind bars
A freed prisoner
Escaped from the lasers
Escaped from the lasers

And I throw the stones at the machines
They skip between the restraining beams
And smash away at the blinking lights
Can I escape these restraints tonight?

I skipped stones across your heart
And into the sea
These days I'm falling apart
But don't you worry about me
Track Name: Strobe Lights
Strobe lights slicing all over me
Ripping the air from me
When I need some loving.
Strobe lights flashing right through me
Leaving me empty
I'll never get that loving.

Right then, the wind slices strips off my cheeks
And the rain stabs into my eyes again
The howling all around me blocks out the music
And the dead leaves are up to my knees, friend
Walking straight at me are the dead eyes fools
The tools, their elbows bruise me
Jab into my ribs like the fuck nuts know
That I'm worthless, they'll take me out with the stares
But I'm there, despite my weakening hold
My hands are claws my fingers ice cold
The street sweeper rumbles
Spitting out vile dust
Its illuminous rider has me in his sights
If he don't kill me now, he will tonight
I'll be found, a sharpened sweeping brush in my eyes
Outside they'll find me, blackened by flies
No neon lights for me, not even grave stones
They'll gather up the shit and dump it with my bones
I'm alone.

Strobe lights slicing all over me
Ripping the air from me
When I need some loving.
Strobe lights flashing right through me
Leaving me empty
I'll never get that loving.

Today I can't breathe and my throat is cut out
And my heart is now torn wide open
Demon claws clutch at my stomach and tear
They're tossing chunks of meat into sunset air

Strobe lights slicing all over me
Ripping the air from me
When I need some loving.
Strobe lights flashing right through me
Leaving me empty
I'll never get that loving
Track Name: Yeehaw
I'm like a donkey who’s broken his nose
You know that I'm always falling down holes
And when darkness takes me, I'll lock me inside
I sit all alone with my collection of skulls

Here up on this mountain I can see the decline
And the crumbling of the scenery as I'm clapping in time
With the slow handclaps of the most unimpressed
But I've digressed, regressed I'm always depressed
While the acrid sluice juice roars and then it pours
Through the world's weary worrisome degraded laws
Locked in a box behind bolted doors
It’s a red raw lockjaw longed for yeehaw

I'm twitching like the Sellotape rebels
Thrashing at a thousand bloody decibels
As bells ring out over these wastes we share
But it's crushing this pain, let’s try not to care
Make the sludge stop flowing
Hot heads stop growing
Return to apathy
Whatever's good for me
Setting fire to trees, this end I see
Is hell-like, hell-like, hell-like, HELL-LIKE

I’m like a donkey
Who’s broken his nose
You know that I’m always
Falling down holes
The buildings are burning
The smoke clogs the sky
I’m falling through cracked walls now
The soot smears out my eyes

Drifting through the city
Looking up at flames
The golden army’s marching, marching
Dishing out pain
As the rain streaks the mud
Mingles it with our blood
And the soldiers raise the maces
Smashing our bloodied faces
In the sludge, in the sludge
As we trudge, as we trudge
Through the nightmare end of days
Through this horrific place
On my face my disgrace
At my self absorbed ways
I want it gone, this hell storm
But I know that it stays
Twisted shapes of demons
From the cracks that are steaming
Sweeping towns to the ground
With a boom boom boom
Once great towers falling
The dust blooms up grey
The rivers molten fire now
The veins iz the blaze
So let's bray it to the stars
Thank the lights for our powers
So let's bray it to the stars
For the wounds and our scars
Hot ashes make my kings raw
Listen to the beasts raw
Red raw locked jaw longed for yeehaw

I’m like a donkey
Who’s broken his nose
You know that I’m always
Falling down holes
And when darkness takes me
I’ll lock me inside
I’ll sit all alone with my collection of skulls
Track Name: IAP
Protection from pain
Plated across my chest
And the decoded truths
Revealed under duress
I'm evaporating
Molecules through the air
Disintegrating
Into blackened nowhere

And as the skylines twist and expand
Blaring out deceptions in the land
And as the colours multiply and steal my breath
The glare from the sun is all I have left
And as the probing tendrils wrap around me
The buzzing antennae shoot upwards with glee
And I can’t reveal my loves or even my hates
Trapped behind these insect armour plates

And I can't reveal
The secrets in my blood
Cut me up, bleed it out
That's not an option love
I can't force out this brick in my arm
Smash it up,
Locked right up before I even began