Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Tyranny - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Julian Casablancas + The Voidz - Tyranny

by Nse Ette Rating:9 Release Date:2014-09-23

On his second album away from The Strokes, Julian Casablancas finds himself another backing band, The Voidz, and a sound far removed from the day job. With abrasive, haphazard-sounding production and abrupt genre-hopping, it makes for a difficult listen at times, but beneath it all hide adventurous tunes. Imagine Yeezus meets My Bloody Valentine, if you will, and you still don't get the picture in full.

'Take Me in Your Army' opens the album, a haunting, meandering piece with Casablancas singing "This is not for everybody/ This is for nobody"; a forewarning perhaps? 'Crunch Punch' is rather melodic through the haze. "I can't live on the phone forever/ We live too far away from everything," he sings, as a radio dial gets tuned at the end.

'M.utually A.ssured D.estruction' is a jumbled, lo-fi rocker with frantic beats and the vocals pushed deep into the mire till you can barely make them out, like an even fuzzier Radiohead. 'Human Sadness' is an 11-minute shape-shifting ballad, muffled and elegant despite attempts to mask its beauty with discordant effects. It's almost like Casablancas wants you to peel through to get at the hooks and melody, not to try to make out what he's singing.

The buzzing rocker 'Where No Eagles Fly' is one of the few immediate-sounding pieces, while the rhythmic clatter of 'Father Electricity' has an African lilt - very The Mars Volta. The pummelling, guitar-shredding, messy 'Johan Von Bronx' is sharply contrasted by the dramatic, tuneful rocker 'Business Dog', the woozy, midtempo 'Xerox' ("Tomorrow is laughing/ Money breeds tyranny"), the oddball groove of 'Day I Care', the cleaner sounding 'Nintendo Blood', and the eerie, hymnal closer 'Off to War...'

Listening to this is like following a stranger and not knowing what detours he will take. The lo-fi, DIY quality is jarring at times and therein lies the beauty. You will either love or loathe this, but if you are up to the challenge, there is much to enjoy here.

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