ALBUM REVIEW: GUM gets trippy on ‘The Underdog’

I first stumbled across Tame Impala collaborator Jay Watson’s GUM project through my Spotify Discover Weekly through a Kevin Parker remix of his song “Anesthetized Lesson” and was immediately wowed by the haze-filled track to the point I dropped it in my very first DJ set at School Night a couple months back.

On his latest offering The Underdog (out April 6 via Spinning Top), Watson is back with more of the same kind of psychedelic electronic grooves that call to mind the latest Tame Impala record Currents from a few years back.

Title track “The Underdog” sounds like it could have fit perfectly in the film Vanilla Sky when (SPOILER ALERT) Tom Cruise freaks out and suffocates Penelope Cruz to death. It’s a downtempo jam with a funky bass line. It’s amazing how track to track, Watson jumps from one genre to another. If you can’t find one song on this record you like, you just don’t like music.

On the next track “S.I.A.”, which was a single, the tempo picks up dramatically with a driving bass line and simple guitar riff that sounds like it could be an LCD Soundsystem tune. “After All From The Sun” is the most Tame Impala sounding track of the bunch, though it features some really dope Prince-like vocals at the start before a juicy synth line revs the track up. It’s probably my favorite from the album.

The 10-track album is expansive and features so much depth and layers that you find something new with each listen. If you’re even a slight fan of Tame Impala, this is right up your alley.

This is a perfect album to get stoned and throw on and just vibe out to. I recommend getting high and then calling an Uber to Hollywood to see GUM perform at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever on Wednesday, April 18. It’s one of just three dates he is playing in the U.S. at this time. Tickets are still on sale and are more than reasonably priced at $20.00 each.