"Nothing Can Bring Me Down"
Ahhhh, yasssss—fuzzed-out, distorted-to-the-max garage-punk goodness: the perfect way to kick off the morning, every damnable day. The organs slam, the guitars choke out noise, the singer sounds like he's wearing a muzzle three times too small and isn't very happy about it.
At times this U.K. IDM duo's output can feel like a coded joke at the listener's expense, a laptop geek's ping-pow glitch guffaw. Kinetic shrapnel trapped in a confined space, "bnc" pops with rapid-fire pinballing percussion, the racing-pulse sound of an impending system apocalypse tunneling into your subconscious even as it wallpapers over Autechre's hysterical giggle fits.
Not "Love Shack II," but nothing could ever be; that's a self-accomplishment these graying, forever-horny Georgia boys 'n' girls won't ever top. (Ditto for everything else on Funplex, even though it's a whale of a good time.) Here's what we wanna know: Does a night of doing "a white-hot shimmy in a Lurex gown" leave a fiftysomething tart's knees sore the next morning?
If Rollie Pemberton's cadence is, indeed, a weapon, it's a broken Kmart slingshot. The Canadian rapper wrote great reviews for Pitchfork and the now-defunct taste-making site Stylus, but on the microphone he's exceedingly verbose and a clunky enunciator. It's tough enough to draw a bead on his train of thought, but his production louses everything up further—the beats are murky, messy train wrecks. Messages may matter, but if the medium's this full of static, who cares?
NINE INCH NAILS
"7 Ghosts I"
Reminiscent of last year's foreboding Year Zero, this charred kernel of Bomb Squad popcorn from Ghosts I-IV is all instrumental serrated edge with no emotional timber to saw in half—a shortcoming endemic to Trent & Co.'s new two-disc, buy-it-online-for-$5 release.