Gobble Gobble is the moniker under which Canadian, Cecil Frena, releases his largely underrated bedroom pop. The project has been making a few light ripples since its conception two years ago, that are just finally starting to turn into fully-realized, rightfully-deserved waves. Thanks to a relentless touring schedule, and the privilege of sharing the stage with established acts such as Baths, Teen Daze and Braids, Frena churns out blissfully schizophrenic songs that somehow manage to be both endearingly noisy and obnoxiously catchy. Gobble Gobble has an uncanny ability to produce melodies and his music has a tendency to not only make a home inside your head, but dwell there for some time.
Cecil pulls from a surprisingly broad range of influences, citing unlikely artists anywhere from R Kelly to Weezer, and yet, these influences are all relevant within his finished product. The listener is left with an array of songs gleefully brimming with a self-awareness of their own insanity, heavily rooted in loud, pulsing electronics. There is an obvious knack for layers on display, as Cecil Prena eagerly harnesses intricate textures that fuse together to form something melodiously pleasing. However, perhaps the most interesting component of Cecil Frena’s strange musical expression is his unrestrained vocals. The undoubtedly quirky, yet poetic responses only add to the endearing nature of the music being created, that occasionally leads into a frantic yelp. And while some may dismiss this strange vocal noise as something out of the Animal Collective, there is no denying that same feeling of excitement that compels you to shout along with him.
Keeping with the do-it-yourself mentality from his past involvements in the Canadian punk scene, Gobble Gobble embraces the information age by putting all their releases (and there are many, from an LP to several EPs, remixes, singles, and mixtapes) up on the band’s Tumblr for free download, complete with hi-res artwork and lyrics sheets, while still putting out physical releases on vinyl for the prideful collector. They also incorporate that same ethic into an extensive love for touring, packing into a van and playing wherever they are welcomed, whether it be a decent-sized club or cramped sweaty basement. Although the recordings are primarily the work of one person, the live show is something else entirely.
While the songs easily stand up on their own, the true genius of Gobble Gobble is revealed in a live setting. Cecil Frena produces the music from his station, and three other touring members come out and set up completely unorthodox instruments, be it drum sets composed of kitchenware or the added percussion of clanging shovels. Often in bizarre outfits that only add to the confusion, they manoeuvre their way through the crowd, sometimes dancing, sometimes crawling, bustling you with feathers and bringing you into the moment. The feeling created is uninhibited madness, capable of making even the stiffest of bones joyously writhe to the beat in what is in all-too-short feeling of unbridled exhilaration. It’s incredible how they’ve managed to fly so low under the radar, with the impossibly infectious hooks and the incredibly innovative live shows, it is clear to see just how much fun they’ve having with their music. To any naysayers who feel this approach too bizarre, Gobble Gobble’s live show is likely something that must be experienced to be truly understood, the chaotic simplicity of their music is too pure and far too fun to ignore.
Writer: Joel Siggelkow
Location: London, Ontario Canada
Joel Siggelkow is a student at the University of Western Ontario, and closet music critic. Joel mixes english with philosophy to critically analyze the wide spectrum of musical talent available today.