EP Review: Gaffa Tape Sandy - 'Family Mammal'

If you’re in need of hearing some organised chaos, perfectly crafted melodies, or just a little bit of noise – Gaffa Tape Sandy have you covered. From Kim Jarvis and Catherine Lindley-Neilson’s offset vocals that portray tensions and aggravation, to Robin Francis’ distinct syncopation; there’s a dynamism in the band that shows no signs of slowing down.

In their second EP, Gaffa Tape Sandy cover a plethora of topics such as mental health and insufferable assholes, but the most important thing to take away is that the EP is full of ‘banging tunes’ as declared by a little chap called Isaac Quigley in the opening moments of ‘Beehive’. The songs were written at various points in the history of the band, and they all carry a similar thread in the respect that they feel completely fresh each time you listen to them. Amidst upbeat instrumentals, are lyrics that can be relatable for a wealth of situations – and most importantly, they are always cunning and catchy.

‘Meathead’ is a contemplation on sexual consent: “you’re too drunk to dance and that makes you the worst kind of criminal.” ‘Headlights’ is acknowledgement of sadness and a reminder to keep an eye out for those around you: “I think you’re a little bit sadder than you let on” and ‘So Dry’ discusses people who annoy and infuriate you: “we work for a system of vanity, I hear you ask where’s the humanity’. There’s a distinct way of expressing emotions that Gaffa Tape Sandy have mastered – build-ups of vocals, little quips of guitar solo and staggered drums – and in each song they’re delivered in a different, yet magical way.

 ‘Turnstile’ and ‘Kill The Chord’ seem to be cut from the same cloth in terms of lyrical content, but the atmosphere of the songs are in complete different directions. The former sees Kim take the lead on vocals, and the song itself is more controlled and put together than the latter which feels more like a jam session where Catherine lets loose vocally in a song that demands you not to let overthinking and self-doubt kill the creative process. All in all, Family Mammal is more fuel to the fire on why Gaffa Tape Sandy are one of the most exciting bands to invest in at the moment. 

Words by Tyler Damara Kelly