Gross Net Means Gross Net review: Captivating and prescient album

Fri, Aug 30, 2019, 05:00


Gross Net Means Gross Net

Gross Net

Felte Records


Girls Names were a fabulous band, a cracking Belfast quartet who released one of the finest Irish albums of the decade in 2015, Arms Around a Vision.

They called it a day last year, so guitarist Philip Quinn now concentrates on an experimental electronic project entitled Gross Net.

The title of his second album, Gross Net Means Gross Net, is a nod to Theresa May’s notorious “Brexit means Brexit” quote. The former prime minister also gets an instrumental track named after her. Lyrically, Quinn explores how hyper-capitalism corrodes our souls and ruins the planet.

His singular soundscapes feel anxious. The net result is a 10-song collection of spooky electronica and mysterious vocals. 

Bisch Bosch by the late Scott Walker is a definite influence, as is Neu! and Throbbing Gristle. Similar in spirit to late era Walker, Quinn focuses on collective global pain rather than inner personal turmoil, sound-tracking a world gone mad on songs called Of Late Capitalism and The Indignity of Labour.  

This is not exactly easy listening, but Gross Net Means Gross Net never ceases to be compelling and vital. It is thrilling to hear the guitarist from one of the most underrated Irish guitar bands of recent times reinvent himself so effectively and brilliantly.