Teacup Gorilla: The Holes They Leave (In Review)



It’s not quite minimalist, not sparse enough for that. It’s not an explosion in the sky, either. No, the debut e.p. by Denver’s Teacup GorillaThe Holes They Leave – occupies a middle place that immediately brings solace to the weary ear. You know when you’re sipping your Pabst at the venue and the band is chopping away, and you catch yourself watching intently as well as bobbing your head almost in slow motion? That’s what this is. In drink terms, we’d call it a “Franzy Reed,” which is an imaginary blended music beverage consisting of Lou Reed’s warbly chat and Franz Ferdinand’s staccato chisel riffs. With an Ian Curtis olive and a Dean Wareham cherry clinging to the same tiny umbrella. All good ingredients.


Teacup Gorilla is a trio that coalesced via several previous projects: Sondra Eby (drums, vocals, glockenspiel); Daniel Eisenstat (guitar, vocals); and Eric Suzanne (bass, vocals). “The e.p. merges our dark, indie sound with words from bassist Eric Suzanne’s recently-published multimedia novel, Riding SideSaddle*,” says Eby.


Please check out Riding SideSaddle*. I so love it when musicians have their hands in other creative works that then come back around to benefit the tunes.

The e.p.’s five songs are pretty seamless in style. There’s a ton of breathing room. Strumming and single-note picking, glock sprinkles, and spoken vocals. To my ear, the bass is the anchor of the project. It stays put so everything else can explore. Without (and perhaps with) previous knowledge of the novel, the lyrics are pretty heavy. They hang, wet blanket style, over the music bed and damn it works. Eby says the band members’ vocals have always been a mix of spoken and sung, even in previous projects.

RELEASE GIG THIS WEEK: Thursday, July 9, at Hi-Dive with Bad Luck City, Coastal Wives, and special guest Jen Korte. Can’t make it Thursday? Then get to The Bakery on Friday!

Teacup Gorilla will also be touring the Midwest for two weeks in August, promoting both the album and the novel.


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