Five Good Reasons to Get Acquainted with Mr. Gnome

A weird band name usually has one of two effects on the average, unsuspecting music buff. Either A: You hear it once and burst out laughing, and think, “They can't possibly be any good,” and never give it another thought; or B: you still laugh, but you think, “They can't possibly be any good–or can they?” And then you Google them. Cleveland duo Mr. Gnome  (yeah, okay snicker if you must), is definitely worth cranking up the old search engine. Born out of an echo-heavy sonic partnership between guitarist/vocalist Nicole Barile and drummer/vocalist Sam Meister, this is the kind of band who's quirky name might actually relate to their sound in some weird way. 
Loud waves of rattling reverb and pounding drums hint at a world of stoner rock fantasy where gnomes, wizards and dragons are free to dwell. At the heart of their adventurous, sprawling two-piece sound are humble (as in, uh, low to the ground) human feelings of pleasure and pain echoed in the lyrics and Barile's yelping voice. Even if the idea of making gnome/indie rock parallels is a bit of a stretch for you, here are five reasons to check out this band, as they make their way to Alex's Bar in Long Beach on Nov. 25. Don't worry, the list has nothing to do with the weapons they are carrying in this photo. 
#1) They name their songs after bad-ass countries

#2) They generate wacky, blended comparisons

​​Being labeled into a genre is an inevitable part of being in a band. Trust us, if journos can't find one, they'll make one up.
But in Mr. Gnome's case it seems like they've drawn a lot more weird “comparisons” than actual identifications of the original dynamics that occur in their albums.
Since the release of their 2008 debut album, Deliver This Creature , Barile and Meister have generated blended phrases like Chan “Cat Power” Marshall fronting Queens of the Stone Age” or “Karen O leading Death From Above 1979”. 
And of course it's hard to tip toe around the fact that they are another recognized guitar drum duo that happens to look like the reverse equivalent of The White Stripes (ooh, but in this band the boy plays drums and the girl plays guitar, woooow what a concept). 
The the fact that they're from Ohio surely has them pegged next to hard-working Akron duo The Black Keys (also Ohio natives). Check out their music and you be the judge.

There's no better indicator that your band is on the right track than when a musician who has already been on that track is willing to uh, track your songs. In Mr. Gnome's case, they have a steady supporter in Josh Homme (the cool handed front man of Queens of the Stone Age and member of Eagles of Death Metal). When the band got ready to record their new album, they received an invitation in April of 2009 to archive their inspiration at Homme's Pink Duck Studios in L.A. It was quite a come up for Barile and Meister, who ended up recording their entire album there. From there, the album was sent over to producer (and Garbage guitarist) Butch Vig's smart studios for some finishing touches.They even got to use sound engineer Justin Smith, who is responsible for recording Homme's QOTST, EDM, Arctic Monkeys and Spinnerette. Considering that Homme's studio backed the album's creation, it seems likely that the band has a very well-known Queen in their cheering section. 
#4) They add another bullet to the list of “great bands from Ohio”
We know that the band's state of origin has already come up a few times in this post. But it's worth mentioning again that Mr. Gnome comes from a place known for more than just farming and college football. It's also known for producing a few kick ass musicians every now and then. As Mr. Gnome begins to take it's place in that category, some much bigger names include The Black Keys (as we already mentioned), Dave Grohl, Bone Thugs-N- Harmony, Devo, Guided By Voices, The Ohio Players…the list goes on. Do yourself a favor as a rock and roll historian and Google it. There's a reason why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in Ohio.
#5) They're coming right at you this month

​All the reasons in the world are no substitute for getting out and experiencing something for yourself right? Well your time is coming up to test out the sounds of Mr. Gnome as the band heads for our neck of the woods this month, touring on their latest album (Heave Yer Skeleton). They're coming to Alex's Bar in Long Beach on Nov. 25 with The Deep Sea Goes and National Treasure. At least they'll have good company in the “questionable band name” department. Of course, just based on the title of the record, we're pretty confident their gonna fit right in at this dark, local haunt that doubles as a shrine to the Day of the Dead. Hopefully you can show up and give the audience a little extra life.

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