Now! (In A Minute)
In a search for a voice as musicians, experimentation can have rough steps but not in the case of Audiobooks. For the happenstance duo, their full-length shows off their unique experience as a duo while having that unique sense of hunger that they could only have from starting again in this project. While it can be a little abrasive at times and be scatter-brained, it’s always pushing something fun or intriguing.
Through the entrancing beats of “Mother Hen” Audiobooks are able to pull you into their unusual mix of sounds by taking a nursery rhyme-like approach to electronics. In their much more rhythmically-driven sound, Audiobooks is able to make everything in this album work well, be it a much more overt pop track or something more obtuse and abrasive. “Hot Salt” in itself leans towards dance-pop, while all its strong bass hooks make you want to tumble right into it. Though they stray into something playful but loosely written like “It Get Be So Swansea” it almost feels like they’re mocking pop as much as they’re critiquing society.
“Friends In The Bubblebath” taps back into the sounds of the 80s as Audiobooks look at disco with a surrealist lens without ever losing its sense of fun. However their more creeping writing takes over on “Womanly Blood” as you feel demonic energy running under and screaming out the way they truly feel. As a more mood-driven piece, it’s powerful to hear the drums kick in and take the song’s chants into a more deeply-rooted core. A track like “Grandma Jimmy” will likely serve as a little more divisive in its simple drive and theatrical spoken-word performances, but it nevertheless feels subversive and intriguing.
Audiobooks hit their strongest grooves on “Dance Your Life Away” as they mix Western and Eastern influences into a melange that sounds like nothing else. Above this, all the ecstatic shouting and growing percussion enhances this into an album standout worth hearing and losing yourself to. They get intensely in-your-face on “Call Of Duty Free” where technology and policy are put under a horrific microscope to make you question our way of life. While the sense of commentary and ambiance continue through “Period Talk” the track rarely escapes feeling like a connector to the rest of the record.
With a more lo-fi dance energy, “Spooky Algorithms” flutters around its sequencers and drum machines, creating a sound that’s parts LCD Soundsytem, and part dreamy pop. While it keeps its beat mysteriously light, there’s an abrasive quality that hits hard as it moves on. “Dealing With Hoarders” brings the right sense of cacophony and low-key paranoia to the mix, to make a cult-like stomper that moves with grimy intent. Though the closing moments of the album meander a tad too much, there’s so much in-your-face writing in the lead up that it creates a balance.
Words by Owen Maxwell