June 5, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 54°F

Life & Culture

Review: 100 gecs tackle internet cringe in hyperpop album

10,000 gecs

Dog Snow/Atlantic Records

100 gecs is back and continues to pave their own path in the music world, much to their own success and everyone else’s enjoyment.

Laura Les and Dylan Brady started their collaboration in 2015 by sending each other Logic files back and forth. They would each work their magic, curating bizarre collections of noises and hooks. This partnership was on and off throughout the 2010s until the duo played a set at the 2019 Minecraft Fire Fest and decided to make their first album together afterward. What emerged was “1000 gecs,” the magnum opus of the hyperpop genre.

Hyperpop is pop music taken to 11, blending elements of PC Music, bubblegum pop and nightcore in order to create a sonic palette that leaves jaws dropped and minds blown. Artists like SOPHIE and Charli XCX were making this style of music and achieving critical success and 100 gecs took hyperpop to its next level. “1000 gecs” gets so close to listeners that every pore and wrinkle is visible. The songs range from quiet ballads about smoking weed to forget about your ex to ska songs about physical assault against jockeys and “piss babies.”

But after four years, a remix album, headlining tours (both in Minecraft and in real life) and a whole slew of hyperpop artists emerging from beyond the web, the gecs are back — and they brought 9,000 more gecs with them. “10,000 gecs” still shows the duo chronically online, but they are trying to move forward as songwriters and producers. There are fewer nightcore vocals, more rock instrumentation and still plenty of memes and bangers. 

While “1000 gecs” was just two friends having fun, “10,000 gecs” is now two high-in-demand hyperpop prodigies trying to have fun in a music industry that does not fully understand them. “Hollywood Baby” is a love letter to the 2000s pop-punk movement, right down to the simple and catchy guitar riffs. “Billy knows Jamie” is a nu-metal song in the year 2023. The guitars, record scratches and lyrics about how someone is going to kill you come straight from Korn 101 taught by Professor Serj Tankian. “Doritos and Fritos” is an homage to MF DOOM and it sounds as if Dr. Seuss wrote a Smashing Pumpkins song in the best possible way.

“Frog on the Floor” is a ska song about a frog on the floor. It is as accurately named as the movie “Cocaine Bear” and just as fun of an experience. But this song is the best showcase on this album of the gecs’ chronically online humor. The gecs’ strength comes from their time spent on the internet, which allows them to balance a fine line between based and cringe, but their songs slap and continue to showcase the power of the internet in music. It’s easy to try and look at 100 gecs as a novelty act, but because of the internet humor of Generation Z (and their shorter attention span), the gecs are proving that they are a serious act in the music industry — one that just happens to be shrouded in ironic humor.

“1000 gecs” exists as an insane collection of sounds that have no business being there, and “10,000 gecs” is a transition away from their hyperpop roots and towards something greater than what their computers can process. The gecs have created a one-of-a-kind album that blends internet humor and hyperpop with alternative rock genre that deserves all the praise. This LPs greatest strength lies in the fact that it was made by two friends having fun making music together, and their fun is truly contagious.

Andrew Tell can be reached at atell@ithaca.edu