Limited Edition Cassette
Twitter, that great big ball of online hate, is bad for many things but the occasional joyous interaction seeps through the rancour. Such as the time hip-hop and electronic whizz MALK sent out a tweet from his Philadelphia lair asking for interested vocalists to make contact. The only reply was from Chris Adams (Hood/Bracken/Downpour) and it was cryptic
Cue two years later the duo unveil the results of their hook up and it’s pretty damn spectacular. They’ve called themselves ROCK, which is of course the best name for a band ever and if it’s not a total cliche snarling opener ‘Shimmering In Freeform’ ROCKS and swings as if the duo had something to get off their chest after all this lockdown nonsense. Over increasingly distorted guitars and a sludgy rhythm, Adams wails near indistinguishable rhymes that never quite reveal themselves. It’s a stunning call to arms which sets the tone for the unique blend of ‘90s lo-fi, hip-hop and electronica that is slung out throughout.
Adams has said that his remit here was for his voice never to sound like itself and he filters it through all manner of effects, distortion and pitch shifting. Part of the thrill is never quite knowing what is going on or being said. Take album highlight ‘Gold Tides’ which starts innocuously enough with a neat Sebadoh-borrowed chord progression before beats and bass take over and a gorgeous summer-leaning vocal shimmer
allows the thought to emerge of what Squarepusher may have sounded like if limiting his listening to Shrimper tapes.
It’s true that the album has Pop with a capital P but there’s enough eerie atmospheres like ‘Meadows Unwind’
and ‘Afraid Of Life’ to give you your splintered beauty quota for the year.
Written and produced by ROCK.
Mastered by Antony Ryan at RedRedPaw.
Outer sleeve photograph by Simon Paul Sugden.
Inlay by HAM using an original collage by Aya Bolt.