Julian Casablancas + The Voidz

Tyranny

Written by: PP on 09/12/2014 22:57:31

At this point in time it cannot be disputed that Julian Casablancas belongs to the same group of eclectic musical geniuses as Josh Homme (QOTSA) or Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) among others. His ability to effortlessly shift between totally different styles of songwriting and still have it come out decent is uncanny, whether it be the playful indie rock of early Strokes, his work on the pop oriented and synth pop driven "Phrazes For The Young", or now with his work with The Voidz on "Tyranny". Basically, forget everything you knew about Casablancas' past work and get ready for an avant-garde album that's basically the polar opposite of the playful tunes found on any Strokes material.

"Tyranny" balances between lo-fi, abrasive songs characterized by looped electronics, droning ambiance that feel almost psychedelic in their nature, and songs that feel halfway similar to The Strokes if it wasn't for the heavy use of synthesizer, weird percussion, and noise as the leading elements. "Crunch Punch" is an example of the latter where we hear some of the familiar distorted vocal work as on The Strokes material, albeit in a far noisier and heavier format with highly experimental sound effects thrown in for good measure. "Where No Eagles Fly" then features the former characteristics, coming across as far rawer and more brutal than you'd ever expect from a song with Casablancas contributing. It's full of distortion-laden screaming and weird Nintendo sound effects, again underlining the avant-garde and experimentalist approach taken across the whole record. In the middle we find an 11 minute mammoth track in "Human Sadness", which toys around with both styles before landing in with a little more melody despite feeling cacophonic overall.

Later, "Business Dog" takes us back to a simpler world where this unit is at its best. I suspect that with a month's worth of listening the chaotic texture may begin to open itself up a little bit more, but for now the best songs are the ones that are least noisy, least rammed with distorted effects and unnecessary avant-garde experimentation. When the album can best be summed as a fuzzy cocktail between iceage, Marilyn Manson, and The Strokes, you know it's going to be a little too weird for its own good.

Download: Take Me In Your Army, Crunch Punch, Business Dog, Dare I care
For the fans of: iceage, Marilyn Manson, The Strokes, Queens Of The Stone Age
Listen: Facebook

Release date 23.09.2014
Cult

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