Black Dice – Mr. Impossible

January 01, 1970

(Ribbon Music)


At one juncture in their long
career arc, it was waxed that no one has “sold out” to greater affect than
Sonic Youth. The same postulation can be applied to the trajectory New York’s Black Dice
has traversed since its onset back in the late ‘90s. As hardcore disciples,
Black Dice’s early efforts were noise-bathed bawlers done at breakneck speed. But
found deep underneath the din was the electronic noodle mashing that would
become the band’s forte after the discordant bent was abandoned.


For a band that reached its
apex immediately after its aesthetic revamping for 2002’s trailblazing
knob-twiddling cataclysmic sound collage Beaches
and Canyons
, all Black Dice’s output that followed – the drums-less,
chaotic clusterfucked squawk glory of Creature
(2004), Broken Ear Record (2005) and Load Blown (2007) – were revelations in sonic science but 2009’s Repo signaled the sound manipulator
masters veering towards a more tuneful but still distorted nuance.




The culmination of that more
accessible direction is achieved with Mr.
, a record that shows a band evolving, as it embraces full-on melodicism with a cheeky goofball spirit. The
brothers Copeland (Bjorn and Eric) and Aaron Warren sound like they are having
a shit-ton of fun, deconstructing electronic music into a boogie-ing, poptone-filled, electronic chomping beast. Songs are
built on catchy and noisy twisted riff repetition, wacky vocal tomfoolery and jerky
killer beats and tunes like the disco-ized shape shifting schizoid electronic
vomit of “Shithouse Drifter,” Pinball Wizard,” and “Pigs” prove upbeat and skewed,
dance-inducing splatter. The prospect of selling out is overrated and so passé.



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