Psychrockers Tropical Fuck Storm are finally dropping their debut album, a bewildering bomb of disorienting five-minute middle fingers raised at easy-listening. Expect no respite on A Laughing Death in Meatspace, but aggressively off-beat drums, angry vocals, and screeching guitars circling the listener with almost nauseating inconsistency. Aussies here turning everything upside-down again, especially your sense of balance.
Vinyl LP £20.99 JNR277LP
Green slime coloured vinyl LP on Joyful Noise.
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CD £11.49 JNR277CD
CD on Joyful Noise.
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Putting ‘fuck’ in your band name is a real statement of intent, and no matter how many times I’ve been told not to judge books by their covers, it’s a statement of intent I’m not going to ignore. Putting ‘fuck’ in your band name means you want people to think you don’t care about working with the “mainstream”. But it also means you very much want to be noticed. Fuck! Now I have your attention.
Tropical Fuck Storm were formed by Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of Australian punks The Drones. They wanted a creative avenue without the weight of expectation of their old band so they started one with ‘fuck’ in its name, and ‘A Laughing Death in Meatspace’ is their debut album. It starts incredibly strong with the almost comically anthemic ‘You Let My Tyres Down’. It’s got a catchy chorus, multiple nasty guitar solos and a climax that I guess could be described as a tropical fuck storm?
From here things calm down a bit, with the band mostly sticking to a nice and twisted post-punk complete with the requisite angular guitars and sparse drums. They’re at their best when they make the most of their two vocalists, singing together or in opposition. Either way, the result is quite otherworldly and strange, and gives each song a core chemistry to be built around. This is shown off best on the title track, with the two playing off each other, sometimes snarling, sometimes yelling, sometimes just singing.
I remain deeply suspicious of their name but Tropical Fuck Storm have proven they’re more than just a naughty word.
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