Tuesday, June 23, 2020

amnesia shredder

I really enjoyed Another Life and Amnesia Scanner are nice guys with an interesting line of patter

But this is a pretty devastating slag-off of their new "EDM-adjacent" effort Tearless here by Robert Barry  for the Quietus

"If I'm honest I think what I liked about them was that they basically sounded like Skrillex but were somehow less embarrassing to namedrop. I mean, fuck it, 'Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites' is kind of a tune in a rather crude, brash, dumb sort of way. That first Amnesia Scanner record, when it comes down to it, is no less dumb. But it is a lot less colourful and playful. It's a kind of po-faced Skrillex....

"...  their new album sounds uncannily like a Limp Bizkit B-sides collection.... The likes of Korn and Papa Roach always seemed to thrive on a particular kind of impotent acting-out, a carefully cultivated image of transgression pieced together in the most sterile laboratory conditions. Wacky haircuts and red-faced gurning. There was a lot of foot stomping. But at least, I guess, they could be bothered to try and look like they cared."

I dimly remember someone doing a very detailed structural-musicological analysis comparing nu-metal and .... not EDM precisely, but brostep - and concluding that they were more or less the same thing.

Here's a counter-(re)view, from Chal Ravens, for Pitchfork, that is more positive if still not exactly making the record sound like a lot of fun really.

"Where Another Life felt bright and alert, shimmying towards oblivion like lemmings in a conga line, Tearless is burned out and overwhelmed. This is ugly music, even at its most melodic. The shadow of nu-metal and hardcore hangs over tracks like “Flat,” a collaboration with metalcore act Code Orange, where busted electronic drums and shredded guitars recall Deftones and Nine Inch Nails. On “AS Tearless” a chant-along punk riff is torn to pieces by distortion.... 

"... Aside from those sharply focused highlights ["AS Acá", "AS Going"] and a brief climax of power chords and blast beats on “AS Labyrinth,” the atmosphere is claggy and subdued. Tearless ends as it began, in slow, exhausted strides. “You will be fine if we can help you lose your mind,” sings a distorted, uncredited voice on the final track, a lighters-in-the-air lament for the party at the end of the world."

I suppose it's the ultimate strategic-slumming move in the hip taste game - to not just hone in on the kinds of dance music that are most demeaned as "it's just the new heavy metal" (gabber, hardstyle, etc - lumpen-rock-like in fantasy heroics, mid-freq blare, speed, punitive splattersthetic, trashy pulp graphics, puerility) but to go all the way across and directly interface with metal and its descendants directly.

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