Too often experimental electronic will take itself too seriously, projecting visions of a shaven-headed, DMT smoking man in his 40s with a breathplay fetish and “boutique” synths identical to those found at Guitar Center that he slathered with stickers and cigarette ashes. I am so happy to say that Fire Toolz’s album Drip Mental off the label Hausu Mountain is not that. The artist feels like a human being who can go at least ten minutes without mentioning how much better they are than everyone else. It’s playful and unique. From beginning to end it feels like a labor of love.
One of my favorite tracks is the third off the album, All Deth is U2 [CODENAME_GUIDED_ACCESS] which starts off with a Spongebob sample echoing into the void before transitioning into screaming. It’s so comical it’s refreshing. The song blends soft synthpop with cybergrind. From then on, the album adopts this blending of the goofy with the grim like an 80’s horror flick. It feels friendly and warm through all the sheer aggression the album delivers.
The album continues to enthrall listeners with At The Pig Well [CODENAME_CARPLAY]. It’s a wall of sound, both chaotic and swirling but somehow perfectly right. It switches to subdued and scattered synth effects but maintains the same feeling . It’s the comedown of an acid trip in musical form. Everything is falling apart together just as the artist planned.
Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t an easy listen, but there’s little bits of softness and levity to it. It’s a black metal musician holding a kitten while covered in corpse paint. I found it a welcome reprieve from overly serious experimental artists. For those who need a chuckle with their weird tunes, check this one out.