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Mr. Gnome – Echoes on the Ground

Mr. Gnome is entirely too cute a name for this band. “Gnome” just makes me think of lawn gnomes and Audrey Tautou in Amelie. And as far as the “Mr.” part goes, Nicole Barille‘s voice is far too primal-feminine for that pronoun to apply.

Nicole and her partner in crime, Sam Meister (on drums), play like an instrumental band that happens to have vocals. Indeed, her voice is more like another instrument itself, wordless wails and howls taking precedence over actual intelligible lyrics, and when there are words, she often sounds like she’s singing through clenched teeth.


I’ve heard the word “crunchy” applied to guitars more than once, but until hearing this band I didn’t really get how a guitar could crunch. Their sound is intense, violent, and harsh. It calls for combat-booted stomping, fists and hair flying. Picture: Grendel’s mother on her way to avenge her son. It’s a sound far more dragonish than gnome.


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