Glitch Mob's latest has a glitch
Who remembers Florence and the Machine’s sophomore album, Ceremonials? Hardly any of you? Well, to recap, it was okay, but it didn’t come anywhere close to matching her spine-tingling debut Lungs. Like all artists, Florence wanted to better herself, so for Ceremonials, she took what her fans and producers liked best — loud, theatrical, gut-wrenching anthems — and made an album chock-full of them. And though the album didn’t flop, only the hit single, “Shake It Out,” lives to tell the tale.
The Glitch Mob — made up of Los Angeles EDM veterans edIT, Boreta, and Ooah — tried the same thing for Love Death Immortality, but with even less success. They took their most crafty and powerful moments from their glorious first album, Drink the Sea, and beat the listener over the head with them. Some tracks are pretty damn fun on their own, but after the third or fourth, the album is all climax and no sexual tension.
As anyone can glean from the laughably ambitious title and sick cover art, The Glitch Mob took the adage “go big or go home” quite literally with Love Death Immortality. Like Beyoncé, every track has a music video to match, but it looks like they didn’t have Queen B’s budget: Each video finds some mix between a bizarre iTunes Visualizer mod and a Rorschach test. They even provided a second version of the album with commentary before each track elucidating how and where and why it was made, probably thinking that it would be beneficial to their given audience or that we would care. It’s not, and we don’t.
Again like Ceremonials, the single The Glitch Mob released a month before Love Death Immortality came out is by far the most redeeming track. Like everything on the album, “Can’t Kill Us” sounds overblown and raucous, but it actually succeeds in being an improvement from most selections on the previous album, vying for the “most epic” award with Drink the Sea’s big hit “Animus Vox.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, “Skytoucher” is six minutes of aimless synth melody over a headache-inducing pad. Also, apparently, its proper genre descriptor is “brostep.” Why would anyone want to listen to anything called “brostep?”
“Our Demons” is pretty great too; it doesn’t give everything away near the beginning, which most of their tracks seem to do, and it has some more organic-sounding loops, adding some contrast to the drum-and-bass-laden rest of the album. Aja Volkman’s guest vocals work well here, but not so much in her other appearance, “I Need Your Memory Back,” another arc-less effort: Her opening vocals lead up to a rather disappointing synth lick that belongs in a game of Tetris, and it goes downhill from there.
The Tetris synth makes a return in the harmonically uninteresting and reverb-heavy “Fly By Night Only,” but Yaarrohs’s smooth guest vocals work really well with The Glitch Mob. Hopefully, they take her back on their next album.
The music on Love Death Immortality is obviously geared toward the crowd at the club, and while fans of Drink the Sea might pout, they can’t be too upset about that. The money’s not in the album sales, but in the live shows; Love Death Immortality basically functions as an advert for filling a venue. But the crowd that responds to the ad will probably show up for “Can’t Kill Us,” get bored, and leave.