Tropical Fuck Storm - Braindrops - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tropical Fuck Storm - Braindrops

by Brian Thompson Rating:8 Release Date:2019-08-16
Tropical Fuck Storm - Braindrops
Tropical Fuck Storm - Braindrops

With a band name like Tropical Fuck Storm, it’s hard to know precisely what you’re getting yourself into, but one thing is for sure: it’s going to be fiery and uncontrollable. And after the relentless punch to the stomach that was A Laughing Death in Meatspace, it’s safe to say that it will be unlike anything else happening in the world of music today. And their sophomore effort, Braindrops, doesn’t disappoint. For their second stellar record in as many years, the Aussie psych-punk rockers have somehow managed to become both harder to categorize and easier to swallow, as their razor-sharp dark humor and gripping instrumental dissonance are further utilized for the sake of hard-hitting rock jams.  

This time around, the off-kilter quartet are even more experimental than they were on their avant-garde debut, as their jarringly grotesque album cover would suggest. Starting with “Paradise,” a bluesy, droning showstopper that builds up to an absolute explosion, Braindrops finds comfort in the delightfully strange, as frontman Gareth Liddiard beckons in stream-of-consciousness lyrics: “Time is all it is / Still it disappears / So you need to tell me what’s true.” The album is an assault on the senses—in the best way imaginable—as it moves through frenzied worlds of sound on tracks like bubbling, insect-like “The Planet of Straw Men,” wandering, exotic “Desert Sands of Venus,” and busy, hectic “The Happiest Guy Around.”

Still, Braindrops is filled with welcome moments of well-exercised restraint, even as it wallows in obscurity. Funky bass grooves anchor many of the songs, most notably on uncharacteristically straightforward space-age jam “Who's My Eugene?” (featuring venomous vocals from guitarist Erica Dunn) and melodic, communal “Maria 63.” On tracks like the spastic “Braindrops” and the defeated and exhausted “Maria 62,” Liddiard’s relaxed delivery is almost to the point of spoken word poetry, leaning heavily into his natural Aussie twang. By the time he makes it to the raw, unhinged  “Aspirin,” his agitated baritone wouldn’t feel out of place on a Nick Cave record.

Written and recorded at home in the self-dubbed ‘Dodgy Brothers Studio’ in Victoria, Braindrops carries with it the sounds of home for Tropical Fuck Storm. As it burns and boils, the record carries the listener through both the harsh reality and unfathomable beauty of the Australian Outback. And much like that sprawling, severe landscape, Braindrops offers unimaginable rewards to any adventures who are able to navigate its ruthless grasp, in the form of a dazzling oasis. Loud and abrasive, yet with a distinct method to its madness, Tropical Fuck Storm continue to craft the sort of exhilarating. maximalist visions that earn a fledgling rock group the respect and admiration of their peers. Simply put, this band rules.

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