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New York City’s Guerilla Toss has gone through drastic changes in sound over the last decade, emerging on their 2022 Sub Pop debut album Famously Alive as a gleaming vehicle for invigorating vocalist Kassie Carlson to exorcise her demons while sounding less demonic than in the band’s feral early days. Created during those grim, isolated pandemic months of 2020, Famously Alive chronicles Carlson’s hard-won wellness after suffering from opiate addiction. The songs are suitably uplifting, with GT guitarist Arian Shafiee and multi-instrumentalist Peter Negroponte helping Carlson forge kinetic, electronic-rock anthems that burst with a youthful life force.
While they may lose some fans fond of the no wave gnarliness and vocal-shredding that marked funky, cacophonous records such as Kicked Back Into the Crypt and Gay Disco, Guerilla Toss should gain many more new ones with Famously Alive. After years of struggle, Karlson finally found happiness and she and her mates have translated those feelings into sugary towers of euphoria. Such inspiration should lead to perspiration at Madame Lou’s.
Heads-up: Guerilla Toss returns on September 17 to open for Pavement at Paramount Theatre.