Friel, Dan – “Total Folklore” – [Thrill Jockey Records]
This LP takes elements of breakcore, noise, hardcore techno, throws them into an early 90s Amiga workstation, spits outs a bunch of 8bit synths and mixes them up into a happy punk aesthetic. The term “folklore” seems strangely appropriate for this crunchy, noisy and melodic album. “Valedictorian” reminded me of a pop-punk anthem re-imagined by the happy-hardcore room at a late 90’s LA massive, while “Ulysses” straddled a line somewhere between breakcore era Alec Empire and the NES/SNES aesthetic of Crystal Castles. Most of the tracks are quite melodic, contrasting their silliness with the sheer amount of grit and crunch the whole way through.
While it certainly can’t be accused of taking itself seriously at just about any point, this is a damn fun album.