We live in a world where the network of social media runs a shallow pool. Momentary dopamine shots to the brain flood our unconscious scrolling. Anxiety between those moments is high. We live in a world where children are taking their own lives because of bullying through this shallow pool. This is madness.
While I don’t subscribe we all take to the hills and revert to trading pelts for the in-season crop yield I do suggest you spin this new album, “Your insolence affects me. I give up on you” by the Providence, RI artist Cyberbully.
The electronic album’s ten tracks deal with the nature of our day-to-day struggle to wade through stress, external and internal, and come out whole and unafraid.
No name is connected to the Bandcamp or Facebook page. It’s clear there’s a freedom in anonymity for Cyberbully. And if that means the expression on these tracks is all the more personal then that’s more reason to listen as you can get your dose of impersonal, bland, people pleasing doggerel with, “Alexa….”
According to the “About” section in Bandcamp “Your insolence affects me. I give up on you” is “an album about anxiety, hating my body, and trying to navigate shame, which I do very poorly.” The jarring honesty in that statement is an invitation to those open hearts out there aware of their own human flaws to take release with this music.
The album kicks off with a boot-up of heavy synth explosion in “DGAF.” There are vocals, sometimes talking in full swagger, sometimes screaming in a locked room. Most of the time though they’re intentionally buried in the explosive cries of synths and machine gun kick drum patterns.
It’s amazing how these songs can feel like a band. I believe it’s due to the dialed-in intention of its creator. Given the “about” section it’s fitting there’s nothing sterile in the compositions. Every tune has dynamic rhythms and sword gnashing synths. All tracks are united in expressing the pain and attempt at standing triumphant over it, all with an organic flow.
The second track “NOTFORYOU.me” sounds like an anthem by Muse was drenched in matrix code from a Berlin discotheque circa-2032.
“CANTDOIT” has a 2D lo-fi hiss from so many great late 80’s/90’s arcade games like Street Fighter, Tekken, Mortal Kombat.
“locating…”BRAIN.doc”” is arguably the party-jam on this record. The groove is a barrage of down-up bass n’ synth. A far cry from the pocket of a Bo-Diddly classic, but in my ears a direct descendant.
Any heavy metal fan would thrash at the diabolical rockslide of a groove in “1INTRUD3R4L3RT”, and dig these lyrics:
“i cant walk down the street/without getting killed/blood spilled/its hard to tell myself/to be real/dont feel/safe with my mind/throwin shit at me/cant see that these intrusive thoughts/wont ever be me”
“LACRIMAL.app could not launch” is an absolute rocker. The subject matter is heavy i.e. “i cant cry anymore/i swear I try so hard but”. Yes, this album is a mood piece but like Buckley’s “Grace” the poetry and pain doesn’t outshine the fully unique sonic landscape.
Cyberbully has been working on this one for over a year and the time spent truly shows on each song. Track one all the way down to the heartbreaking instrumental come-down “timeisnotrealbutiam” is worth a purchase and a front to back listen with a good set of cans. Truly glad Cyberbully D.G.A.F.