The Gorillaz – Aries (feat. Peter Hook and Georgia) – track review
The Gorillaz have released the third episode of their ‘Song Machine’ project, and within it they conjure up some new wave energies, while bringing along an innovator of that genre along for the ride.
The ‘Song Machine’ is a series of singles the group plans on releasing throughout 2020, which will heavily feature other artists making guest appearances alongside the virtual band. The tracks released up to this point have been far more intriguing than some of The Gorillaz most recent albums, and seem to have gone down a treat with fans.
Legendary bassist Peter Hook, of New Order and Joy Division fame, throttles the throat of this song, leaving his mark all over it. His thumping bass which plays a huge part in guiding this track, is so definitively Peter Hook, it’s distinctive and smart. The sound of the whole track feels like a deep cut from New Order’s ‘Power Corruption and Lies’ era. Though, it never quite hits those highs, if New Order were to have released this track, it’d likely be the best thing they’ve done for a while.
The Gorillaz really just roll with it, allowing themselves to be lead by Hook’s infectious bass line. Lead singer Damon Albarn even seems to be channelling Bernard Sumner somewhat from a vocal standpoint. He reaches out a little more for that understated, boyish vocal rather than his usual delivery style.
The track itself is unique, it feels far from the sound The Gorillaz have come to be known for throughout the 2000s. Lyrically, Aries is focusing on the search for acceptance from someone else. Albarn sings, “I’m standing on a beach in the distance / And even though you’re far away, can you see my red light? / It’s waiting to turn green/ ‘Cause I feel so isolated without you”.
Whatever your feelings are of the song, on ‘Aries’ The Gorillaz manage to map out their own style over a well-known new wave sound, and I personally think it works to a strong level. I’m excited to see what comes next on ‘Song Machine’ and I’m thoroughly interested in who the group bring in from this point onwards to help bring some even crazier combinations to life.
This track is proof that Peter Hook can turn up and flip something on it’s head, making it sound pretty damn good in the process.
You can check out the accompanying video to ‘Aries’ below:
Image sourced from Spotify
All words by Jared Musson