Nightmare Ceremony, Happy Birthday to Geronimo’s Obsolete LP, 5/31/2019

Geronimo’s Nelson, Ruiz, and Francoso build worlds—immersive experiences that demand your undivided attention and require a good set of headphones or deafening volume to take it all in. Obsolete’s first track, the 16.26-minute “Quanah Parker,” sounds like the breath of a galaxy followed by an interstellar invasion. It’s heavy, sinister, and beautiful, building in intensity like the best kind of thunderstorm, weaving this monolithically huge (but minimalistic) tapestry of noise, deconstructed rock that sounds nothing like what came before, and harsh waves of electronics that are entirely otherworldly.

The record’s third track, “IDLT,” is a brooding, contemplative assault that reminds me of planets smashing together, tectonic plates groaning until they’re just about to snap, and cyborg gods punching each other in the stomach in the slowest slow motion. Part of the transformative nature of Geronimo records is they make you question what’s good in regard to the bands you like. (It’s hard to go back to vocals/bass/two guitars/drummer after this.) They make a lot of music look stale and unadventurous by comparison. (Consider listening to Geronimo a space clearing ceremony for your record collection.)

The title track “Obsolete” is this tryptic of a record’s final song. Side-note: It’s weird to call these “songs” because they’re both longer than most of the longest songs around and they contain the pieces, movements, and framework of entire albums. “Obsolete,” with its searing, uncomfortable, ominous tones (and the LP it rode in on), is a movie soundtrack to a film that doesn’t exist and would probably freak you the fuck out anyway and give you nightmares. Or great dreams. Either way, it’s worth it. Today is this record’s second birthday. Buy it something nice.

Adam Gnade, author of the books Locust House and Float Me Away, Floodwaters