Back in 2010, The Glitch Mob offered us a refreshing middle-way between the squealing brostep that was surging in popularity at the time, and a more intelligent strain of what is now referred to as glitch-hop. With a distinct focus on sound design and a huge sense of scale, Drink The Sea was a stand out album of its time.
Forward four years, and the Mob have been all but nonexistent in the interim. Save for the single releases off their first album and the odd remix, we’ve heard nothing from the L.A. three-piece. One would hope that in that time they’ve been secretly working away at something earth-shaking. However, it seems, unfortunately, that this just isn’t the case.
The Glitch Mob have seemingly managed to distill their signature quirks - those meaty yet high lead sounds - and apply them so unimaginatively that they turn into an indistinct mush of brostep/electrohouse bollocks. As early on as Our Demons (feat. Aa Volkman), we’re hearing those once great hard-drive like bweeps used to offset a painfully uninspired vocal lead, overdriven a little seemingly to disguise the pure drivel being passed off as lyrics. Skullclub goes as far as sounding like the greasy run-off of the sample-pack bingo that is the Beatport Electro Top 100, an ungodly blend of Mord Fustang and Nicky Romeo and everybody that ever thought that a distorted Modern Talking oscillator was clever after 2011.
Honestly, I don’t know what I hoped for The Glitch Mob to turn into. All I can say is that by the robotised vocal “We are, we are, we are the wild ones…”” before a drop that sounds like Skrillex for kids with ADHD, they turned into something completely purile. By Becoming Harmonious, it almost seems like a practical joke. A half-arsed ‘chillstep’ vocal is chopped just enough to be devoid of all meaning and is followed by what I can only describe as half a maek-sik-dubstep tutorial and half a Transformers 7: Vengeance Of The Talentless Models original soundtrack.
To sum up this release: The Glitch Mob have suffered an episode of group psychosis and used their (ex) signature sound to emulate the every worse attributes of 2010 era brostep, complete with lazy sound design, and downright offensively poor composition. These tracks aren’t thoughtful, nor are these wobs gnarly. I just hope that this Californian trio sustain whiplash off the back of this release that’s hard enough to knock them back into reality.