Gary B and the Notions cook up new song and unexpected remixes
It was only last spring that Baltimore rockers Gary B & The Notions
released their latest album, the excellent How Do We Explode, but they decided to close out 2012 with a little more new music on the Cheri EP. The title track is a worthy addition to the canon of Gary Barrett songs titled after girls’ names, alongside “Lori,” “Amy,” “Jenny,” “Sally” and “Lyndsy Fonseca.” The latter ode to a relatively obscure television actress (the daughter on the couch in How I Met Your Mother!), is among the Explode tracks that are, surprisingly, remixed and dramatically touched up on the rest of the EP.
Gary B & The Notions have always been a straightforward guitar/bass/drums outfit, and How Do We Explode is their hardest rocking effort to date. So it’s a bit of a shock to hear some of its riffs turned inside out, or in some cases replaced entirely with thumping new beats backing Gary B’s nervous voice. V O T’s “Street Drugs (Make ‘Em Plenty ReMix)” is the spikiest and most distorted of the new mixes, and comes closest to successfully reinventing the song. The other remixes, produced by It Could BB Guns, Chris Moore, and KNTRLR, are a mixed bag, no pun intended, often failing to reward such a risky stylistic departure. But it’s still intriguing to hear the Notions in a new light, suggesting that they may not always be such a meat’n’potatoes guitar band after all.