On Gauntlet Hair’s 2011 self-titled debut, we were introduced to an ambient, psychedelic, and enjoyably muddied sonic approach reminiscent of noisemakers like Animal Collective, Psychic Ills, and Braids. Flash-forward two years, and we find ourselves back in the hands of Gauntlet Hair’s Andy Rauworth and Craig Nice. This time around, though, the duo has opted for a higher-res approach, bringing the vocals to the forefront and allowing the guitars to ring out minus all the reverb. Most notably, though, this Gauntlet Hair seems more interested in channeling the spirit of the Jesus and Mary Chain than any new-school psych contemporaries. Opener and lead single “Human Nature” is a dark and swirling mix of symphonic synths and rapid-fire drum machine trills; “Obey Me” is a short but menacing collection of plodding piano and deep vocals; and “Heave” is a jaunty, new-wave number with a synth warble that snakes just under the surface. It may not be wholly innovative, but Stills feels like a confident step in a bold new direction for Gauntlet Hair.


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