Watch Out on Drowning Effect’s New Album Techniculture

By Deuce

So, you heard Drowning Effect’s new album, Techniculture, was recently released, right? Thinking about giving this LP a spin? If so, take my advice: hold onto something. Doesn’t matter what it is. Grip it tight, with all your might, and prepare to be blown away by a frenzy of music, energy, and noise, the likes of which have heretofore rarely been unleashed.

The aesthetic evinced on this album is one of unrestrained loudness. It’s found not just in the electric guitar playing (oh, and especially in the electric guitar playing), but also on their doubling and, at times, tripling up, in the bass, the live drums, the mix, as well as in the vocals.

The thing is, bassist James Spadaro is cranking out some punchy bass lines, the type to get almost anyone to moving. Such is surely the case on “Bounce”, which likely earned its title from his strumming, as well as on “You Come Running”, which is almost subversive in its obsidian seething to the rhythms of Mark Loftin, who’s credited with the drums and percussion.

But it’s just the tip of the iceberg and incomparable next to the sheer volume of the electric guitars Spadaro and vocalist Thad Baker keep hammering you with tune after tune. That favored instrument certainly seems to take priority in the mix for these numbers, oftentimes starting, dominating, and shutting things down on each track.

On some tunes, this strategy produces fairly profound effects. “Headlines”, which has an accompanying music video, is demonstrative of this fact. The bass and guitars are working in unison with a spectacular groove, while Baker’s got some sort of distorted effect on his vocals to give his melody (“make it, you’ll never make it buddy”) the proper tinge. But all pretensions of harmony, concord, or even order get tossed out the back door once the guitar solo powers through, slamming any and everything else well out its way.

Several of the cuts even have good old fashioned distortion—not on the vocals mind you, but the type stemming from guitars that adds to the chaotic feel attending most of these numbers. Slam dancing, mosh pit heaving, picking fights…any of these activities are appropriate on this album. Just know what it is you’re getting into before playing this one, which may turn out to be something you can’t easily escape.  

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