Black Dice dude Eric Copeland continues to create music that somehow sounds completely messed-up and rather poppy: Black Bubblegum indeed. This new album is particularly dub-focused, skanking up and down and round and round, festooned with all sorts of weird slices of sound. CD or pink-coloured vinyl on DFA.
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I’ve been looking for some good warped pop music but I’m not entirely sure i’m going to find it here - certainly not from the sounds of the opening ‘Kids in a Coma’ where Copeland intones the same quite annoying vocal refrain and sort of shouts over the top and it all goes rather nowhere. Better is ‘Rip It’ which has a sort of cod reggae motif somewhere between Carly Simon’s ‘Why’ and 10CC’s ‘Dreadlock Holiday’, he also manages to sing in a fake Jamaican accent which is quite a bold move these days.
The Black Dice man is making a ramshackle form of lo-fi pop here using the worst keyboard sounds ever and compressing everything into the dirt. He has an interesting way with melody at times such as the flowing chorus of ‘Fuck It Up’ and certainly the riff for ‘Blue Honey’ is indie movie appropriate. His voice is a high pitched squeak that on certain occasions sounds like Frank Sidebottom through a distortion pedal but I fear that on a whole the fucked-upness of the sound is a mask for the fact that Copeland can’t actually write enough decent songs to keep it interesting.
Fans of Ariel Pink and Animal Collective should probably see if they can get more out of it than I have.
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- Black Bubblegum by Eric Copeland
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