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Gisli - How About That?


Review: Jack Foley

HE RANTS about reality TV, his parents had the flash of inspiration to give him a name which means 'hostage', he’s even had 'a horrible day with Gareth Gates' and yet he still manages to have a good laugh about it.

It’s little wonder, though, given his inspiration arises from one of his favourite possessions, a book, Sarah, by J.T. LeRoy: "It’s about this guy who went through this terrible thing when he was about 12 or 13," he says.

"He was sniffing glue and giving blow jobs to truck drivers. He had the worst life imaginable, but he was the happiest man in the world because things were going great and he was making money.

"He was seeing the bright side of everything. That really inspired me. If you’re at the bottom there’s always a way up. I try to look at life like that."

It’s clear from his debut album, How About That?, that Gisli is not only an optimist, but that he also has one hell of a sense of humour. His lyrics are inspired by almost everything that has gone wrong in his life.

He started off as a drummer and has been in bands for much of his life.

The most important of them is a band called Pornshot, which was formed by Gisli in Norway. He drummed with them for five years.

The lead singer also doubled as his girlfriend. So what happened? Well, of course, it went all 'horribly wrong' on both fronts.

Gisli was rootless, jobless, girl-less and generally miserable. He was finally lucky enough to land a minor job at a record company that signed Pornshot.

Using the company’s studio, he crafted away ten songs. When he took them all to the record company’s boss he loved them and hotfooted it with Gisli’s demo tape to England.

The rest is history and the result a fantastically diverse album that screams hilarity. His lyrics are about as serious as Alanis Morrisette’s use of the word ironic.

In his opening title track, How About That?, he talks about princesses that used to be sluts, evil lawyers that used to be really cool and really straight people that used to do coke.

The comedy continues in tracks like Straight To Hell and Go Get Him Tiger, which features black hobos in white suits, standing outside of Starbucks sipping on double decaf lattes with low fat milk and shooting up heroin.

His Dinosaur Jnr-esque Worries and The Day It All Went Wrong are slightly more sober acoustic tracks featuring pretty guitar melodies and lullaby style lyrics.

Gisli is a quirkily curious character and is at his kooky best in his latest single TV = The Devil. Slightly electro, yet still rocking as ever, it is inspired by his hatred of reality-tv shows.

Make Me Right is like an ode to fellow rock clown, Beck.

Aided by a similar lazy vocal approach, Gisli proclaims: “There’s something missing inside my head and I don’t know if it’s good or bad."

All in all, the album is full of contrasts and extremes. There is nothing subtle about Gisli. He is pop’s new king of the one-liner and he’ll make sure you know it too.

 

Track listing:
1. How About That?
2. Straight To Hell
3. Go Get Em Tiger
4. Worries
5. The Day It All Went Wrong
6. I Don't Fight
7. TV = The Devil
8. End of My Ropes
9. Passing Out
10. Can You Make Me Right?
11. I'm Trying
12. Mind Games
13. You and Me

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