August 20, 2014
Ithaca, NY 70°F | Rain

Accent

Review: Dull album drowns in monotony

The Glitch Mob’s “Love Death Immortality” focuses on boring tempo crescendos that delve into huge bass drops, straying from its pioneering sound of sublime synths and booming drums that made the band’s first effort, “Drink the Sea,” a huge hit among electronic music fanatics worldwide. Drums, bass and synths combine to create a wall of sound that tends to assault the senses rather than create a well-blended cocktail of electronic instrumentation.

The album’s overblown sound is immediately recognized during the first track, “Mind of a Beast.” Techno-trance beats drone senselessly, only to be replaced by another slight variation of the original beat after another pithy interlude of shrill synths and in-your-face bass. It’s an unfortunate instance where little effort and even less instrumental creativity plagues these well-known bass-heads from beginning to end.

This unimaginative sound works its way into every single nook and cranny on the LP. The band’s exciting up-tempo rhythm is hindered by its sheer lack of coherent musical execution. The weak bass drum hits of “Skytoucher” make listeners feel like they’re at an unenthusiastic end-of-the-world party. High-pitched synths and obtrusive vocal samples displayed on “Can’t Kill Us” are used as a crutch for the ending build up, which sounds like mediocre Skrillex B-sides with its cliche attempt at masking the inefficiencies behind the band’s uninteresting combinations.

The only musical process that seems to reflect an experienced artist is the multiple vocal accompaniments by pop-laced female vocals in half the tracks. They provide a necessary break to dilute the fiery nature of the album’s constant and thunderous bass. Without these melodious briefs, this album would be doomed to a monotonous grave. “Fly By Night Only” is a pivotal movement toward this tuneful edge, featuring gentle yet powerful vocals from guest vocalist Yaarrohs.

“Beauty of the Unhidden Heart” ends the album with a mix of power-pop vocals and easy-going synths, leaving a pleasant taste on any listener’s musical pallet. However, it simply can’t make up for the LP’s over-produced and invasive soundscapes: It is a bright light on this convoluted and unsettling release.

“Love Death Immortality” will go down as a clunky, electronic dance music banger that was caught up and swallowed in the vast wave of contemporary electronic music. With little distinction and richness among the tracks, listeners may be begging for more from the experienced West Coast outfit.