Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace

by Brian Thompson Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-26
Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace
Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace

With a name like Tropical Fuck Storm, listeners might not know precisely what they’re getting into when they pick up one of the band’s albums, but they know one thing for sure: they are giving themselves over to a bizarre, animalistic journey that is anything but ordinary. Conceived as a side project for Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin while on hiatus from Australian art punks The Drones, and also including members of Palm Springs and High Tension, Tropical Fuck Storm combines a whirlwind of genre stylings in order to create something altogether different. Swinging wildly from industrial rock to rhythm and blues to psychedelia and everywhere in between, A Laughing Death In Meatspace, the band’s noisy, experimental debut album, is one of 2018’s most inventive records, as well as one of its most intriguing.

The album begins with an easily accessible entry point, as its shapeshifting opening statement ”You Let My Tyres Down” teeters between thunderous, fuzzed out guitar riffs and soft, infectious melodies while it gradually goes off the rails. The rest of A Laughing Death In Meatspace, however, is far less conventional. We are taken deeper down the rabbit hole with crunchy, mechanical chords on the abstract ”Antimatter Animals,” a twisted, eerie mosaic of warped sound bytes. By the time we get to the tribal, rhythmic explosion that is ”The Future of History,” we are on the brink of nuclear destruction.

But even in the abrasive warning of the coming apocalypse, it’s all played for tongue-in-cheek laughs. In the space age, chaotic hip-hop energy of “Soft Power,” we are presented with delightfully gnarly black humor: "The downside is that we're all about to get royally fucked / And the upside is we're all about to get screwed." Moments like this are sprinkled throughout the record, but they aren’t making light of the dreadful situation they are recounting. Instead, they are using humanity’s oldest defense mechanism to truly highlight the bitter urgency of their doomsday prophecy.

A Laughing Death In Meatspace refuses to quit, from the beach sounds of the swirling, instrumental “Shellfish Toxin” to the dreamy, sprawling title track. With their shaggy, wonky grooves, Tropical Fuck Storm have crafted the emotional and sonic equivalent of a pot of water boiling over. Their off-kilter debut album is an utterly immersive showcase of an electrifying wall of sound. Hopefully, there are many more frightening dreamscapes to be unleashed.

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