TROPICAL FUCK STORM – ” Braindrops “

Posted: August 24, 2019 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Highly anticipated second album, one and a half years after their critically acclaimed debut LP. Featuring members of the now-defunct band The Drones. Recommend If You Like: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, Nick Cave, The Slits, Protomartyr, The Drones, Gang of Four, IDLES.
“I’ve invented fake news as a genre of music,” Gareth Liddiard observes with a laugh. Heʼs talking about Maria 63, the closing track on Tropical Fuck Stormʼs sophomore LP “Braindrops”. The song takes aim at the once-marginalized alt-right conspiracy theories that now seem to be a driving force behind the rise of fascism in global politics. “It may be the most stupid song ever written,” Liddiard jokes. Heʼs wrong, Maria 63 is emblematic of Tropical Fuck Stormʼs keen ability to mine the extreme edge of pop cultureʼs periphery for potent musical and conceptual spice.

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Tropical Fuck Storm were formed around 2017 in the city of Melbourne, Victoria along Australiaʼs south-eastern coast. The band released their debut long-player A Laughing Death in Meatspace on Joyful Noise Recordings in 2018. Each of the bandʼs four members bring considerable experience to the group. Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin were part of the long-running and critically-acclaimed act The Drones, while Erica Dunn and Lauren Hammel have performed in a variety of well-received projects. Perhaps itʼs that wealth of rock and roll experience that allows Tropical Fuck Storm to so expertly deconstruct and distort the genreʼs norms. “Everything we do, we try to do it in a weird way. The whole album is full of weird beats, and just weird shit everywhere,” Liddiard explains. He cites Doc at the Radar Station-era Captain Beefheart as a key sonic touchstone, and Braindrops certainly shares the Captainʼs penchant for pounding abstract grooves.

It’s a amazing doozy, perhaps even more so than its predecessor — and keep in mind, this is coming from a band known for slinging tales of Soviet chess machines, shellfish-related conspiracy theories, and “antimatter animals.” Consider the tremulous guitar riff leading off album opener “Paradise” a facsimile for the record’s sun-poisoned strain of dadaist pop: an prolonged, paranoid sirens’ song peppered with references to Pokémon, Eugene Leary, global warming, and leg-humping dogs. Highlights include “The Happiest Guy Around,” a rowdy cut that, with its chattered vocals and ebullient energy, recalls a Beegees simulation gone awry; and the bristling title track, a sprightly, staccato race against the doomsday clock.

Tropical Fuck Storm have achieved a uniquely off-kilter sound on Braindrops.

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