Album Review: “Drink the Sea” by The Glitch Mob
The Glitch Mob’s new album “Drink the Sea” was officially released today (on iTunes, etc.) though they put the whole thing on their web site to listen to beforehand. It’s a two-sided experience, “Drink the Sea.” Depending on your outlook, this album will either drain your soul like a ruthless vampire and then toss you out into a desert wasteland to burn in the sun, or it will make you feel like you are on the winning end of an epic space battle full of laser beams, explosions and of course giant robots.
“Drink the Sea” is in short: brooding, calculating, experimental electronica. It’s one of those albums that needs to be listened to in its entirety to fully appreciate its scope. It’s about as far away from the Top 40 as you can imagine – so if that’s what you’re into go get the new Justin Bieber CD and you’ll do alright.
Click below to read my breakdown of the songs and album highlights.
The first track, Animus Vox, kicks off the album with a slow and sludgy bass line, which serves as the backbone to the album. It’s really an introduction more than a song, despite its length, picking up more with the gripping, hectic bass in the second track Bad Wings.
The third song, How to be Eaten By a Woman, is the first stand-out on the album, coming in soft and distant then hitting heard with heavy synth that just chews at the rest of the song and re-occurs as a motif in later songs. This song also hints at the air of revelry, or some kind of grandiose battle, that balances the broodish, isolated atmosphere that begins and ends most of the tracks.
Fistful of Silence makes for a good mid-cut, similar in its sloppiness to earlier songs, but adding an extra layer of pumping, woodsy synth and clipped female voices that appears in its max in the next song. Fistful is one of my favorite songs on the album for its quality dubstep, which would make this a more accessible song for a club audience and perhaps a good future single.
Between Two Points should be mentioned if only for its tenderness and for being the only song with lyrics. The chorus: “The shortest distance between two points is the line from me to you” defines the two-sided nature of these songs. In fact, describing this album as the sound of the distance between two points of humanity might be a fair conclusion.
Drive It Like You Stole It is the first single off this album, though it felt like more of an interlude or a change of perspective than an actual song. It captures the low beat swagger, wet and rainy urban vibe that The Glitch Mob is so capable of pulling off successfully. Expensive fast cars in downtown NYC in this song, only you’re not in them, instead you’re on the sidewalk on a bridge hastily walking wherever, the camera swirling around the scene. If for nothing else, this makes a great opposite to the two closing tracks.
The album ends with the breathtaking Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul. Clips from previous songs fade in and out in this slow, tender song, which sounds far more human and realistic than the rest of the album. If this album felt like an intergalactic space battle on a desolate moon, then this song is the coming back to Earth. Whether or not you were victorious is up to you. Either way, this album makes for one killer soundtrack.