Twice now in this project, twice, a band has come up on a day when I just couldn’t seem to stomach them – and it was because all I had been listening to was Death Grips.
The first was in August, when I tried to write about Right Away, Great Captain!’s The Bitter End. It’s a slow, tedious record at times, and one that takes a great deal of patience and introspection. It is, after all, an album that is based primary in the acoustic guitar stylings of Andy Hull, lead vocalist and guitarist for the decidedly more rocky Manchester Orchestra (and one half of Bad Books, too).
That week, I gave my first honest listens through the Death Grips catalogue. Just two days ago, the group dropped a brand new album for free, and out of nowhere: Government Plates.
So it should come as no surprise then, that this week, that the last couple of days have been dominated by this record.
Which, in turn, means that this Brothertiger record, Golden Years, is a delicate bluebird in comparison.
Earlier this week, I saw Active Child at the Black Cat here in DC. It was an alright show, but Pat and company played for a disappointing 50 minutes. I expect headliners to serve a solid hour to 75 minutes, so to see AC offstage before they were even really able to establish a good room vibe was troubling at best.
I feel like that’s a good metaphor for a lot of the songs on Golden Years. There are some nice sounds and textures here and there. I’m told the single is called “Lovers,” but aside from the fact that iTunes claims it’s sold more than other tracks on this record, I couldn’t pick it apart from the crowd.
It’s sort of a blasé approach to chillwave, and that’s fine. It can be a palate cleanser. But man… seeing a band that didn’t meet my high expectations this week, and then closing on such a flat record today is sort of a bummer. Even the cover is disorienting and unfocused. On the bright side: Virgil’s cream soda.
Standout tracks: Wasn’t super enthused by anything here, really, but…
Weakest track: …wasn’t super unenthused, either? Idk.
RIYL: Teen Daze, Washed Out. Chillwave.