tUnE-yArDs / w h o k i l l|
By the Ambassador
tUnE-yArDs aka Merril Garbus creates a chaotic, rhythmic statement with interesting loops, percussion, rim-shots, saxamaphone solos and feedback. Lyrically, the album is very progressive taking on patriotism, police brutality and gentrification with a sensitive, personal and nuanced perspective. This is pop music for people who don’t generally like pop music. Think Talking Heads, Pig Bag, Can, or Morphine mixed with a bit of Yoko Ono (but far more listenable). FCCs on #1, #2 & #10. Recommended tracks: #3, #4, #6, #7
1) My Country (3:40) – FCC – great opener with characteristic percussion onslaught and Merril’s passionate vocals about not feeling like she fits in the popular vision of the U.S. of A; 2) Es-So (3:30) – FCC – Cool tune with stuttering beat and loopy part spoken-word vocals; 3)** Gangsta (3:59) – banger that starts with sirens, percussion and in yo face bass, vocals as sirens swirling then beat drops HARD – chaotic and fun; 4)** Powa (5:04) – the slow song with big beat, big bass, snarling guitars and layered, acrobatic vocals and ethereal background vocals; 5) Riotriot (4:13) – slower, experimental tune with fuzzed out parts, political lyrics about police abuse; 6)** Bizness (4:24) – opens with keyboard riff and vocalese looped, then percussion comes in followed by Garbus’ vocals, slowly evolving into a full sound with killer sax riff – punkish, while fragile with lyrics about getting evicted; 7)** Doorstep (4:17) – tender love song about police shooting her baby with clickety-clacking rim-shot percussion, layered vocals and fat bass; 8)* You, Yes, You (3:33) – stomping, funky tune with catchy vocals, lots of big beats and layered vocals; 9) Wooly Wooly Gong (6:07) – off-kilter lullaby; 10) Killa (3:12) – FCC – too bad about the FCC on this one, it’s a great uplifting pop song about feminism in the 21st century – killer beat, bass line and cool vocal hook.