Attempting to describe the sound of Kiss My Super Bowl Ring is an exercise in futility. You’ll have to include every genre including the kitchen sink, and that wouldn’t even do it any justice. The California twin duo has crafted something eccentric in their fourth LP. With an anything-goes approach to making music, we have a mixture of chaotic drum and bass rhythms, guzzling synth sounds, and song structures that swerve from one direction to another.
The convention in this album is its lack of convention. You’ll have to listen to it in its entirety to experience the wide range that it offers. The vocals can shift from languid boredom to full on hardcore, the riffs go from groovy to blistering frenzy. There’s a playfulness and a sense of freedom that Fletcher and Wyatt Shears consistently infuse in each track. Could it be their intention to trick their audience at every curve? Or is it just a consequence of their don’t-give-a-fuck approach? One thing is for sure, listeners are in for a roller-coaster ride and will surely line up again for a second go.
The opening and carrier single “Clench To Stay Awake” is an epitome of this, with a lethargic delivery of its intro, “Here comes another day / Where I clench to stay awake” it whiplashes into a boiling disarray at the 1 minute mark. Followed by peaks and dips with every new section thereafter, reflecting the pains of keeping up with the day-to-day grind.
“A Struggle” is equally dynamic, there’s a call and response between silence and madness in the intro. The meat of the song is catchy folk piece but don’t let your guard down for a bit as it explodes into chaos yet again in your face.
The album’s title track meshes an urgent fiery rhythm with laid-back vocal melodies and riffs. An assortment of saying ‘kiss my ass’ in several different ways. ‘A Fool’s Expedition’ is half a nu-metal rap and half hardcore moshpit banger with a glistening flute line sprinkled in there for good measure. ‘AMPM Truck’ is a surf-rock psychedelic trip with a playfulness that’s reminiscent of early 2000’s pop-punk about the struggle to stay awake while driving. While they stretch their hip-hop and electronic muscles in “Hit Eject” and “Lurkin’”.
The band’s spontaneity and boldness to switch gears while still managing to keep it interesting is the hallmark of this whole album. There’s an attitude of unapologetic artistry that just springs at you throughout the collection. The range that they can stretch themselves is an impressive feat. It’s a demonstration of what’s possible when artists aren’t too distracted by rules and boundaries. And if that ain’t your thing… we’ll you can just kiss that superbowl ring.
One thing is for sure, with the varying styles and sounds exhibited in this 11 track LP, The Garden has expressed total creative freedom that listeners of diverse tastes can definitely enjoy.
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