The L.A. kings of oontz music return with their second album, a heavy-beat-driven, unabashed party record. It’s impossible not to see these things blasting from giant speakers in an arena full of sweaty twentysomethings. That is to say, The Glitch Mob aren’t subtle, but they are very good at doing big. Guest vocalist Aja Volkman appears on two of the album best tracks, the slow-burning “Our Demons” and club-ready “I Need My Memory Back.” And the Fever Ray-ish Metal Mother helps “Becoming Harmonious” achieve liftoff. Meanwhile, the trio go solo on hard-hitting “Skullclub” and “Can’t Kill Us,” which seem to rip the speakers apart no matter how loud the volume is set. Who knows how long the EDM craze will last, but on Love Death Immortality, The Glitch Mob are living like there’s no tomorrow.
Twenty years down the road from the release of their first single, "America's answer to the Chemical Brothers" have outgrown the narrative trappings of their roots and find themselves full grown, an institution of American stadium ready electronic music. Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland have always worked within the carefully ecstatic ebbs, flows and drops of electronic music, always on a massive, radio-friendly scale, making their brand of EDM some sort of analogue to fist pumping arena rock. While in the '90s, this methodology got them compared to the Chemical Brothers or Fat Boy Slim, in 2014, it seems more aligned with current trends in radio-dubstep and the kind of anthemic electronic and sample based music championed by acts like the Qemists or even RJD2, replete with star studded vocal spots, and a Grammy nomination under their belt. The new self-titled album comes on the heels of Kirkland's recent brain surgery and shows a renewed vigor and relevance. Their incorporations of dubstep and icy arpeggiation feels contemporary but not strained, a fitting dressing for the sort of emotions the duo has always activated. Fans of the band's early output as well as new fans should enjoy the album's dramatic trills and swells, all anchored by an expert understanding of how to keep a dance floor moving.
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