You could sit down with Profanity’s lyric sheet and a highlighter pen, to draw out and call attention to all of the stately quips and profound observations under Caleb Cordes’ employ, but you’d just end up with a page that is completely yellow and sodden with ink.
Like Shawn Michaels swaggering to the ring with a wink and a smile, Odonis Odonis’ latest full length Hard Boiled Soft Boiled is a blitzkrieg of highly-charged arrogance; a constant tug-of-war between the industrial stomping of machines and the haze of fuzzy melody that constantly dares you to give a fuck.
It’s surely canon by now that if you make electropop and you hail from Sweden, such as OESS, you’re pretty much halfway there. The bad news is that there’s an obvious and inherent problem: you have a larger need to stand out so as to elicit listeners, to garner an emotional response and a reason for them to choose you over other background-forming compatriots.
When I eventually suffer the misfortune of having to host my first dinner party later this year, it won’t be old favourites Can’t Buy a Thrill or Liquid Skin that I’ll turn to for the accompanying background music, it’ll be something like Lost in the Dream.
MASS is a compendium of lullabies for lucid dreamers. Much like the gangly contortionist Amazing Amy Harlib who adorns the cover, it boasts a remarkable malleability. There’s something almost ritualistic about the way these eight tracks are constructed, each a reassembly of the same pieces into different, transformed wholes.
‘I found the notes you left behind; little hints and helpless cries, desperate wishing to be over’ croons Christian Holden on ‘Your Deep Rest’, delivered with the kind of strained melody that only occurs when you’re using every drop of your mental strength to paper over the cracks of the never-ending chasm that lies beneath.
With song titles like ‘Waka Waka’ and ‘Born from the Marriage of the Moon & a Crocodile’, you’d be forgiven for thinking Toronto-based electronic trio Doomsquad (siblings Allie, Jaclyn and Trevor Blumas) were one of those quirkygroups — you know, more concerned with hazy photo filters and the number of nobs on their keyboards than creating genuinely affecting music.
“Things must change,” croons John Frusciante on the second LP by Wu-Tang affiliates Black Knights, “we must rearrange them”. Apt for an artist who played guitar in one of Americas biggest bands before spending the majority of his solo career rewriting and redefining his sound in obtuse directions — plucking and toying with his melodic sensibilities to create new sonic landscapes.
The prior work of The Mary Onettes never failed to deliver on that which was catchy and pleasant. Sometimes it meant sacrificing originality in order to preserve the genre in a sincere way, but the endearing fundamentals were always there: everyman ambition in the vocals, lifted by the delicate catharsis of simple guitar melodies and top-note synthesizers.
With hypnotic inevitability, Thug Entrancer’s debut Death After Life unfolds a step at a time into a twisting maze of serpentine rhythm. Each individual cut pulls you deeper, turning back and forth through its angular labyrinth, rendering any previous point of reference becomes useless and seeps away.