10,000 gecs
100 gecs
released 17 mar 2023
originally written 11 apr 2024
edited & re-published 7 jul 2024

the artistic evolution of hyperpop's pioneers has been more than enough to prove that the thrill of it all had much more steam in the tank than detractors give it credit. it's just that energy is being siphoned off into new expressions of other subgenres, subcultures, and artistic styles—which explains this album's blood-pumping alt-rock.

10,000 gecs's sound bed is only loosely connected to what they broke though with in 2019; that record's incessancy and singularity has been preserved in amber instead of extended for easy fun, with its autotune dialed down, the drums and guitars more prominent (and perhaps the closest to analog that gecs will get), and the song structures are more readable. but none of that means it's in any way nailed down; the energy is still utterly incalculable, between the grinning chants of Hollywood Baby, deadpan commentary on The Most Wanted Person in the United States, jovial & tropical simplicity on Frog on the Floor, or the all-encompassing agony of Billy Knows Jamie.

the carelessly free wings between Laura and Dylan's emotions certainly keeps it intriguing, and its progressions at their core feel completely natural; each instrumental, despite being occasionally so disparate from what's around them, flow uncharacteristically well. that's something to commend in spades, being able to check so many boxes and make it feel enjoyably second-nature—and the group's update on their love of ska on I Got My Tooth Removed (and to a lesser extent Doritos & Fritos) is more than welcome as the fun romp it is.

and its commentary after you peel the commotion back a few layers, is something genuine to chew on, just like their last; it vaguely gestures towards gender dysphoria & cultural homogenization respectively on Tooth and Doritos respectively, along with celebrity culture on Hollywood Baby, social outlaws and targets on Most Wanted, and self-aware, personal detachment on mememe. so just like last time around, the album's most apt commentaries are those where you're not sure quite how direct Les and Brady are being; the hyperactive backdrops keep any finger-pointing shrouded below a translucent blanket of noisy anthems.

Billy Knows Jamie is certainly their most confounding, off-putting, and heavy track (as much as i'd like to think their 800db cloud fishcenter performance gets close), calling back to rap metal outfits like Limp Bizkit while completely outdoing anything Fred Durst ever put his hands on—as much as Laura's quoted love for them explains a good deal of her artistic variance, along with the cultural context she's most familiar with and able to replicate so well. The track's breakdown is harrowing, her blood-curdling screams interjecting at the end exploding with enough vitriol to shatter minds and the album's flow—which makes One Million Dollars afterwards a necessary cooldown and palette cleanser, à la I Need Help Immediately.

the final three tracks have plenty of personality to spare though, afterwards; lines like "Got Anthony Kiedis sucking on my penis" and "I fuck with fire, burn my dick, play violin on sinking ships" feeling pointedly (and likely, to an extent, satirically) rebellious coming from Laura—and the final mememe is one of the more timeless anthems they've put to tape.

the record is just a bit of an all-over-the-place re-up in resuscitating the dead genres and styles from the 90's and 00's gecs clearly hold reverence for; it doesn't always result in their best material, but its unbridled character is impressive, despite any cohesion or style hiccups. and it's just another really good example of hyperpop artists taking their captivating artist flair to new destinations, putting their all into anything that interests them simply for the sake of making electrifying music.

flat 3 / 5
created by hand, by nat!

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