Sunday, 29 May 2016

Review of 'Ullages' by Eagulls


Go into this record expecting Cure-worship and you’ll come out happy.

Go in expecting a little more like myself and you may feel a little underwhelmed. Stripping away the hardcore punk edge of their debut, Leeds rock band go all out in reviving 80s-Goth-rock complete with yelped vocals and reverb-slathered twangy guitars. They do a great job at imitating their idols and it’s a shedload of fun for a few tracks until you realise Eagulls aren’t really doing anything that novel.

Consequently, Ullages gets samey fast. The detuned guitar madness making up instrumental track ‘Harpstrings’ briefly spices things up, but then ‘Psalms’ and ‘Blume’ trundle along sounding like Cure B-sides, as if the band felt they have to balance out their experimentation with blandness.

I had to check what the band looked like in case they weren't just The Cure in disguise

Thankfully, the second half does boast a few more exciting moments, ‘Skipping’ incorporating an intense pulsing bass riff and some creative phasered hi-hats, ‘Aisles’ throwing in some marching band snare rolls contrasted by walls of echoey guitar. It’s in this half we also get ‘Lemontrees’, which is still Cure-worship, but makes up for it by sporting the album's catchiest chorus along with some badass tribal percussion.

It's tunes like this that make me think an entire retro record could have worked if there were simply more singalong anthems. Instead Ullages only offers fleeting thrills, serving more as a pleasing nostalgia-trip, pleasant but predictable.

TRACK TASTER:

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Review of 'A Moon Shaped Pool' by Radiohead


Creating something that’s both depressing and enjoyable isn’t easy.

Nobody goes out of their way to be sad. And yet tragedies have been a popular form of entertainment ever since entertainment existed. Shakespeare loved a bit of tragedy, as did the Ancient Greeks. And the trend remains today with the likes of 1984, Requiem for a Dream and pretty much every episode of Game of Thrones. Clearly we get off on depression, otherwise we wouldn’t keep exploring it as an art form.

Musically, Radiohead have become renowned for dabbling in dreariness and despair - and people love them for it. Embracing their stereotype for being lugubrious sourpusses, they’ve decided to really push the boat out with this latest album A Moon Shaped Pool, sounding more cheerless than ever before.

Thom Yorke attempting to smile
Low on percussion, the album is slow and brooding, made for intimate listening rather than moving to. Play this at a house party and everyone will leave. All of the songs are strictly downbeat in tone, but excitedly diverse in instrumental flavour, ‘Burn the Witch’ opening the album to a backdrop of intense staccato strings, followed by piano-driven slowburner ‘Daydreaming’ which could be the score to a romantic tearjerker, the kind that has your girlfriend asking ‘are you crying?’ to which you must boldly reply ‘no, I just have something in my eye’.


Me: 'no'

As is Radiohead’s style, the band continue to reinvent themselves. The industrial choppiness of The King of Limbs seems to have been largely abandoned for a more fluid approach, with the exception of driving electronic dirge ‘Ful Stop’. And the band barely pick up a guitar, with the exception of ‘Present Tense’ – and even here it's set to a Latin shuffle, any sign of the band’s rock roots rendered indistinguishable. At this point, the band instrumentally seem to defy all genre labels, concocting their own avant-garde cocktail.

Vocally, things aren’t quite as diverse, Thom Yorke relying largely on a monotone whimpering. That said, he does give one of his most emotionally convincing performances to date. It’s this that separates him from wet blankets like The Weeknd and Lana Del Ray – whilst they seemingly rely on an attention-seeking woe-is-me persona, Thom really feels like he’s venting his negative emotions. When he utters ‘You really messed up everything’ on ‘Ful Stop’, he’s not simply handing out a cliché but instead audibly spilling out his soul. Similar is the line ‘Dreamers/ they’ll never learn’ on pretty piano ballad ‘Daydreaming’, in which he seems barely able to sigh out the line as if the truth of it hurts too much.



Admittedly, without much creativity put into the melody of these vocals, they don’t always keep the listener hooked, leaving tracks like ‘Indikit’ to become easy moments to zone out too. Thom could still be emotionally convincing and add some belting here and there like he used to in Radiohead’s early days. The King of Limbs and his recent solo work have both suffered from a similar over-reliance of whimpering, rarely building or ebbing.

Many of the songs feel rather directionless as a result – low on hooks and climaxes, both vocally and instrumentally. Take closing tinkling track ‘True Love Waits’ for example. It’s phenomenally touching commenting on the painstaking wait to find true love, but sonically doesn’t go anywhere, trailing off abruptly when it should be the crescendo to the album.

Only two tracks on this album really reach a climax, those being opener ‘Burn the Witch’ and length-titled penultimate track ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor Rich Man Poor Man Beggar Man Thief’. The first ominously breaks into dissonance. The latter slowly builds from Moby-like chords to soaring triumphant strings.

A few more epic outros like this, plus more belting to contrast the whimpering, would have made this album a lot more dynamic I feel, however that isn’t to say A Moon Shaped Pool is a labour to listen to. Radiohead may still be short of party anthems, but their tracks remain consistently engaging in their sonic creativity, Thom also keeping a firm tug on those heartstrings. If you’re feeling down life and need someone to relate to when that 2am comedown hits, Radiohead’s melancholia may offer some catharsis. Or make you more depressed. Hopefully, the former. 

TRACK TASTER:

Friday, 27 May 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 27/05/2015: Gojira, Lone, Tom Misch and more...


Two of my favourite musical acts ever, Gojira and Lone, just released new music this week. How do my ears cope with this? How will my loins cope? In any case, I’ll try not to fangirl too much. Let’s begin…

THE BEST:


'Silvera' - Gojira


NEW GOJIRA OMFGWTFBBQ I’M RUNNING NAKED THROUGH THE STREETS IN CELEBRATION!!! Oops … I said I wouldn’t fangirl. After releasing previous single ‘Stranded’ the other week, the French riffmongers seem to be continuing their abandonment of unpredictable song structures and tricky time signatures in exchange for catchy guitars and anthemic choruses. Whilst it was fun to see them boasting their technical side, I can definitely deal with this new straightforward headbanger approach. Besides they still take the time to boast some ridiculously speedy tapping at the end. Watch out Eddie Van Halen, you have competition!

'Backtail Was Heavy' - Lone


NEW LONE OMGOMGOMG I’M RUNNING OUT OF LOTION … I’ve got to stop these enthusiastic outbursts. In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m a big fan of this UK EDM producer. Rejecting his signature woozy chords, it seems Lone too is changing up his style though, instead adopting an old-skool Prodigy vibe. Heavy percussion and rave stabs make for quite the change in pace from the Nottingham beatsmith’s last record Reality Testing, seemingly reigniting the energy of Galaxy Garden. Non-Lone fans won’t have the foggiest idea what I’m on about. My response – educate yourself by downloading Lone’s discography and live happily ever after.

'Rogue Fossil' - Virus


It’s been a fine week for metal. Blending theatrical creepy crooning and dissonant Voivod-esque guitar harmonies, this Norwegian experimental outfit will appeal to any mosh veteran looking for something a little off-kilter. It’s a little more succinct than their last seven minute single ‘Steamer’, and we’re offered funky bass grooves instead of theremin this time around. The campy horror vibe meanwhile excitedly remains. Their upcoming album is certain to be oodles of fun.

'Watch me Dance' - Tom Misch


London producer/multi-instrumentalist/singer Tom Misch drops some gorgeous strings before diving into some slinky jazz-funk.  I SAID IT WAS A FINE WEEK FOR METAL. Honestly though, even metalheads will be unable to deny the feelgood factor.

'Nothing But Good' - Fake Laugh

My Soundcloud stumble-upon of the week – what marvellous genre is this? And are those guitars or synths? Because whatever they are, they sound awesome. Nothing but good indeed.

THE WORST:


'Lost in Space' - Kendra Wilkinson




I really want this godawful track to get lost in space where no-one can ever hear it ever again.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Review of '99.9%' by Kaytranada


Sporting vocal guests as big as Aluna George and Our Holy Father Craig David, this Haitan-Canadian EDM producer is clearly making a name for himself, even if I hadn’t heard of him until a couple weeks ago.

In this age of FL Studio and Soundcloud, anyone can be a bedroom beatsmith, and standing out from the crowd can be a real challenge, unless you’re as utterly unique as Kaytranada.

Kaytranada

Rooted in boom bap, his style draws from the kind of instrumentals that every New York rapper from the nineties used to jump on, made up of dusty percussion rhythms and worn jazz. Transporting this sound into the digital age, Kaytranada has removed the dust and wornness, polishing the style up to an excitingly novel mirror finish. The kicks and snares are crisp. The basslines are tight and punchy. And the synths are shinier than Bruce Willis and Samuel L Jackson’s post-Die-Hard-3 bald heads combined.

It’s a masterclass in FL Studio wizardry. Like those anti-bacterial products that kill 99.9% of germs, 99.9% is squeaky clean. But impressively, it isn’t clean to the point of being sterile either. There’s a human touch to the instrumentals, Kaytranada playing with them and offering some tasty beat changes and meanderings as found at the end of ‘Drive Me Crazy’ and ‘Track Uno’. There are all kinds of semi-nostalgic-semi-futuristic textures being toyed with too. ‘Vivid Dreams’ throws in some delicious organ chords reminiscent of Crystal Waters ‘Gypsy Woman’, mixed with some ominous sub-bass. ‘Lite Spots’ meanwhile relies on a choppy retro European-jazz-funk sample, turning it into a fun and bouncy house anthem.



Matching Kaytranada’s unique sonic personality are the carefully chosen guest vocalists, who too have their own beautiful and distinct styles. There’s the aforementioned big names - Aluna George with her smoky-sweet British-inflection and Craig David with his signature snappy soulful delivery. But then there are also some excitingly unique underground vocalists too – Syd from The Internet with her breathy sigh-singing and Californian artist Anderson Paak, whose quirky intonation sounds like a soulful Lil Wayne.

There’s that feeling of magic I first felt when listening to Disclosure’s Settle, an electronic album that’s poppy as it is experimental, nostalgic as it is futuristic, familiar as it is refreshing. The attention to detail shows, but not at the expense of fun. Kaytranada is at the top of his game. 

TRACK TASTER:

Friday, 20 May 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 20/05/2016: Blink-182, Die Antwoord, ASAP Mob and more...


This week, I tell you what I think about Blink, I open my gob concerning ASAP Mob and I let you know whether Die Antwoord are bad or good. Should I write in rhyme all the time? No, good, let’s move on…

THE BEST:

'Fly by Night' - Lucian



Can we all take a moment to appreciate this beat? It’s half-Bond-Theme, half-banger. And the chick’s soaring vocals are ace, although I could have sworn she uttered ‘I ain’t going to shite on time’ at one point?

'Infinity' - Red Giant



If Regina Spektor embraced wubs it would sound like this ominous electropop track. Her smoky sighful delivery and the slowburning sub-bass make for a seductive combo. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this New Brunswick pair.

'On and On' - Oceans


I apologise for the lack of guitars this week, these Brighton lads and their new groovy rock single ought to suffice. It’s semi-proggy without being indulgent, catchy without being poppy, just an all-round solid tune. And those vocals will have the ladies swarming in. Or not as the video suggests. Well, I’ll be swarming in anyway...

'Dazed & Confused' - Die Antwoord ft. God 



This isn’t as obnoxious as previous releases from the South African rap duo, which is probably why I like it. The reggae-flavoured beat is hypnotic, as is Yolandi’s soft sing-rapping, as is Ninja’s soft sing-rapping (I’m used to him sounding mean and scary). God meanwhile produces the track (Who me? I didn’t know I produced this!!!)

'Yamborghini High' - ASAP Mob ft. Juicy J


This isn’t as obnoxious as previous releases from the New York trap rap collective, which is probably why I like it. Your computer isn’t lagging by the way, the music video is supposed to look like that. Props for these guys for not letting their masculinity get in the way of wearing pink robes.

THE WORST:

'Built This Pool' - Blink-182


It's 14 seconds and still too long. Plus, it’s not gay enough. 

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Review of 'Bottomless Pit' by Death Grips



One does not simply dive into Death Grip’s discography this far into their career.

Having announced their breakup in 2014 (but continued to make new music since…), the Sacramento experimental hip hop/noise/punk group return with Bottomless Pit. I say this with each release but it’s true – Bottomless Pit is their most extreme album to date! Death Grips newbies shouldn’t start here – to do so would be to order a vindaloo in an Indian restaurant having never tried a curry before. You have to build yourself up with Death Grips and acclimatize yourself to the noisy beats and angry hobo shouting, all of which has predictably been shifted up an extra gear on this album.

How many more gears have they got left? Upon hearing lead single ‘Hot Head’, I thought perhaps the band had taken a step too far, resorting to cluttered cybergrind and lyrical gibberish. It wasn’t necessarily the abrasiveness that worried me, but the messiness.

Any musician can be experimental after all. Applying songwriting talent to that experimentation is another matter. ‘Hot Head’ simply didn’t seem to flow and I was worried the rest of the album would simply be, to use my favourite phrase, ‘noodling’.

However, the result could not be more the opposite. Yes, these are some of Death Grips most challenging and raucous and fucking intense numbers to date, drawing on every abrasive technique they've learnt so far. But - ‘Hot Head’ aside - the groove and catchiness has also never been this high.

To give some examples, there’s firstly opening track ‘Giving Bad People Good Ideas’, which might just be the most poppy track I know to include blast beats, sporting a punky female-sung hook that reminds me of The Runaways.  There’s electronic cranium-curdler ‘BB Poison’ that somehow manages to be more headbangable than  ‘Tak Yon’, ‘Come Up and Get Me’ and ‘The Powers That B’ combined. And then there’s ‘Three Bedrooms in a Good Neighbourhood’ that sees MC Ride offering some outrageously anthemic vocals, the likes of which I didn’t think he was capable of.

Sonically it continues to push boundaries, but the pretentions have been lifted. Death Grips aren’t out to impress anyone or get anyone stroking there chin this time, they’re here to have fun. Nowhere is this more evident than in the lyrics, in which the band humorously seem to mock themselves and their critics. ‘Trash’ is dedicated to all the listeners’ that think their music is trash, whilst ‘Eh’ is dedicated to all the listeners that think their music is, well, eh…

Songs seem to have actual themes, and aren't simply gobbledegook being passed off as poetry. After pretending to break up and not turning up to shows, I was starting to dismiss the band as assholes. But now, having just completed an extensive US tour (attending every single show), it seems the band are starting to think about their fans again, instead of incessantly trolling them for their own entertainment.

This is reflected in their music - the band relying on less self-indulgence, evening out their noisy experimentation with some straightforward fun. It seems they've finally perfected their style, taking the pop appeal of The Money Store and the cold industrial feel of No Love Deep Web, the electronic infectiousness of Government Plates and the guitar-driven punkiness of Jenny Death, and melding it all into a toxin that is both deadly and gripping - 'Death Grips' taken literally.

TRACK TASTER:

Friday, 13 May 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 13/05/2016: Radiohead, James Blake, Justin Timberlake and more...


It’s weekly round-up time, where I bring you the best of indie electronica featuring male whimpering.

THE BEST:


'Lite Spots' - Kaytranada


Haitan-Canadian producer Kaytranada has only gone and dropped another sparkly banger, and this time it's accompanied by a feelgood video in which the musician teaches a Japanese robot how to dance (Kay has some moves – although he doesn’t teach the robot how to do the robot, which is absolutely devastating).  

'Stranger' - Axton Frick



It's stylised AXTON FRICK, for all you vaporwave aesthetic lovers; although I wouldn’t strictly call this song vaporwave – it’s more polished than that.  Dreamy vocals echo out from across the void, to the accompaniment of some groovy scuffling percussion and warm synth washes. I CALL IT ANTI-POST-NEO-VAPOR-CORE-WAVE.

'Daydreaming' - Radiohead


I must say I do prefer Thom when he’s singing rather than whimpering, but the pianos are so gorgeous that he could be blowing raspberries over the top and I’d still be hypnotised. Also, as evident from the video, it seems Willie Nelson has risen from the dead and joined the band – WHY WASN’T THAT IN THE NEWS?

'I Need A Forest Fire' - James Blake ft. Bon Iver


I told you there was a lot of male whimpering this week – although James Blake and Bon Iver are probably the kings of tasteful male whimpering. I mean they actually make it sound emotional (men have emotions, what?) to the point that it’s hauntingly so.

'Can’t Stop The Feeling' - Justin Timberlake


This is Justin’s answer to Pharrell’s ‘Happy’ – an upbeat funky anthem that sees the singer maturing past his ‘sexy back’ phase, creating a dance anthem that all the family can enjoy. It’s the kind of adorable song you can’t help but fall for, and I have total faith that the radio will overplay it.

THE WORST:


'4 Million' - Riff Raff


Riff Raff seems to be slowly losing his sense of satire. The thought that he might actually become a serious rapper is about as disconcerting as Donald Trump actually becoming president.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Review of 'Views' by Drake


He must have taken the wrong staircase. How else did he get all the way up there on top of the CN Tower? Somewhere along the line Drake has got a little lost.

He’s seemed a little musically lost recently too. If becoming a trap rapper wasn’t hard enough to adjust to, the Toronto rapper also now wants us to think he’s Jamaican – composing dancehall-flavoured tracks complete with a patois-tinged accent. It’s ironic given this is the same man who brought us the song ‘Know Yourself’.

Drake looking lost

That said, Drake’s choice to fuddle with genres such as trap rap and dancehall has made him a lot more diverse and exciting than the Craig David impersonator that he started out as. There’s something for everyone on Views. There are sensual slowjams for the ladies. There are 808-fuelled bangers for bumpin’ in the whip with the bros. There are some boom-bap all-bars no-hooks tracks towards the end for all the hip hop purists out there. There’s even a track for all the non-Drake fans -‘Summers Over Interlude’ in which Drake must have got lost on his way to the recording studio, leaving the producers to have to pull in Majid Al Maskati as a vocal replacement.

Of course, the album might have been a lot more exciting if Drake hadn’t tried to shove twenty tracks into it. No album deserves to be twenty track long. Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That. Plus, for all the genre-fuddling, Views does feel a bit rushed, most of the songs sounding like they were composed in a day.

Drake’s rhyming is frustratingly lazy (in what world do ‘arrogance’ and ‘character’ rhyme?) and the wordplay isn’t quite up to scratch as it was on If Youre Reading This It’s Too Late (the line ‘Got so many chains call me Chaining Tatum’ proving he’s certainly not using any ghostwriters right now). On top of this, the hooks are utterly forgettable and, as much as the beats had me nodding my head, rarely do they have enough variation to keep them interesting for an entire track.

'Got so many chains call me Chaining Tatum'

The bookends are arguably the most solid tracks – epic opener ‘Keep the Family Close’ and global hit and closer ‘Hotline Bling’. The orchestral stabs on the former and the cha-cha-flavoured trap of the latter make up some of the most creative instrumental moments on the record, plus Drake’s bars here are on top form, showcasing some time and effort.

Thankfully Drake also still seems to be in touch with his emotions, which has always been his USP after all. His views on Views can often be questionable – he certainly doesn’t offer much praise to the opposite sex, instead spending most of the tracks moaning about how women have hurt him. Some of it comes across a bit whiny, but the large bulk of it feels cathartic and refreshing coming out of the mouth of a hip hop artist. ‘Redemption’ is even quite moving, Drake exploring the source of his trust issues with women, making him a relatable character to all the dudes out there having trouble settling down.

In fact, its moments like these where Drake seemingly embraces the fact that he’s lost, which makes him a lot more endearing. It may not make up for the lack of solid songs, but it elevates him above the countless arrogant rappers trying to preach ideals like they’ve got the whole world sorted. Drake knows that even if he is a household name with millions in the bank, he’s still got issues like the rest of us, and he’s confident enough to get them out in the open. Maybe he does know himself after all. 

TRACK TASTER:

Friday, 6 May 2016

BEST AND WORST NEW TRACKS OF THE WEEK 05/05/2016: Radiohead, Kehlani, Blink-182 and more...


Too busy listening to Drizzy? Getting carried away listening to Bey? In case you missed the fact Blink-182 and Radiohead are back, I’m here to get you up to speed (no, Blink and Radiohead sadly haven’t teamed up for a collab, although I’m not ruling it out as a future possibility – Metallica and Lou Reed’s Lulu proved anything is possible)

THE BEST:


'Precious Possession' - Anna Wise


Holy macaroni! This sensual slowjam is all levels of seductive from her breathy vocals, to the slinky synths, to the raunchy video. And yet Anna Wise manages to be way more than just a sex symbol, donning that ‘independent woman’ vibe too (listen to feminist anthem ‘BitchSlut’ and you’ll get what I mean). Altogether, she’s like a more catchy, less creepy FKA Twigs.

'Burn The Witch' - Radiohead


All you whippersnappers probably won’t Remember Trumpton - that stop-motion kids show back in the 60s, back in the good ole’ days. Oh yes, I remember the show clearly (I was minus 25 years old!). Anyhow, this music video clearly takes inspiration from that programme, although Radiohead being Radiohead obviously put their own gloomy/fucked-up spin on things. As for the music, it certainly ticks all my boxes – Thom Yorke laying some velvety smooth vocals over some contrarily intense staccato strings. In other words, Radiohead are keeping things wacky.

'Vapour Trail' - Lone



After the incredibly mellow but incredibly awesome Reality Testing, UK producer Matt Cutler (AKA Lone) seems set on upping the pace for his next album, having announced that he will be borrowing more from hardcore and jungle this time around. Sporting bustling percussion, dreamy vocal samples and woozy synths, this new house anthem seems to be implementing all of Lone’s tastiest ingredients. I’m salivating in anticipation.

'24/7' - Kehlani


I don’t know nobody who smiles at everybody 24/7’. Kehlani speaks up for all her fellow depression-sufferers, criticising the need to mask our negative feelings with fake happiness. After attempting to take her own life earlier this year and having since recovered, it’s nice to see Kehlani is now confronting her demons head on. This also may well be the most positive song I know about not being positive all the time.

'God’s Not a Dick' - 50 FT WAVE



The chick’s voice may take time to adjust to -  the hoarseness reminds me of Axl Rose – but the jaunty guitar work from these US alt rockers will most certainly keep you hooked. Plus, the song title is brilliant. Too right, I’m not a dick.

THE WORST:


'Bored to Death' - Blink-182


This comeback track from prehistoric pop-punk posterboys Blink-182 won’t bore you to death – for one Travis Barker’s drumming is sounding flashy. Sadly, the lyrics are anything but. I winced when I heard the ‘Life is too short to last long’ line. Besides, the band missed a trick – it could have been ‘life is too short, blink and you’ll miss it’. Get it? Blink? Well, I thought it was clever…

Monday, 2 May 2016

Review of 'Junk' by M83


Junk may be trashy, but it isn’t garbage.

Most of us will agree that junk food is a guilty pleasure, even if it is overly sugary, cheesy and seldom made from fresh ingredients.

Talking of junk food, the artwork kind of reminds me of those creepy McDonald's creatures

All of this can also be said of the sounds being played with on Junk. Inspired by nostalgic TV shows from the 80s and 90s, French-American synthpop group M83 throw together as many cheap (but shamefacedly enjoyable) flavours that they can muster including Seinfield-slap-bass, Starpoint-squelchy-synths and every gaudy breed of solo that you can think of – sax solos, guitar solos, keytar solos, even a harmonica solo on the last track.

It’s retro in the same way Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories and Todd Terje’s It’s Album Time are. The difference is that this record deliberately borrows from the corny end of the spectrum rather than the classy end.

This isn’t as horrible as it sounds. With its goofy singing and sci-fi-Muppets album cover, the band show a sense of humour and self-awareness that shows their corniness to be adorably deliberate rather than embarrassingly accidental. Perfectly-arranged power ballads such as ‘Solitude’ meanwhile show off the band's song-writing talent – the tone may not be serious but the musicianship is.

Now that I think about it, the artwork actually kinda reminds me of this dude from Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared *chills*

Certainly, there are times where the line between garbage and junk gets a little blurred. ‘For the Kids’ is a convincing twinkling eighties slowjam, but without any absurdity or glimmer of originality, so uncool that even your mum is unlikely to turn her nose at it.

Thankfully this is really the only dud in the mix, the remainder of tunes using their retro ideas playfully and creatively. Take ‘Do it, Try it’ for example – the mix of nineties-esque–rave-piano-rolls, slap bass and loopy vocals makes for something entirely novel. Yes, piano rolls and slap bass are both terribly hackneyed, but fused together it’s an exciting cocktail.

In many ways this album may just be a reflection of this very blog, Music Related Junk. It knows it’s trashy and exploits this for entertainment value. (Honestly, you think anyone reads my reviews because they’re smart and insightful? No, I get hits because I add gaudy gifs and lay down corny jokes and sometimes WRITE IN ALL CAPS LOCK LIKE A CHILD.)

Similarly, M83 know that they’re cheap thrills, but they embrace it to the point where it’s so charmingly innocent that you’d be a prude not to enjoy it. It’s junk of the highest order – the type people make art sculptures out of. 

TRACK TASTER: