Friday, July 12th, 2019

100 gecs – Money Machine

OK, so no-one mentioned Grimes…


Scott Mildenhall: A new version of The Game for people who used to play The Game: if you respond to this, then 100 gecs win. If you use the words Grimes or Sleigh Bells then they win forever, and if you shut your mind off to certain aspects of it, it becomes listenable.

Will Adams: Wow, this Sleigh Bells remix of Farrah Abraham is a lot better than I expected.

Will Rivitz: A purely hypothetical exercise: I would theorize that if a young teenager were to find electronic music through artists bridging the gap between the nu-metal they loved and uncut dancefloor shit, like — as a general example — Immersion-era Pendulum and Scary Monsters-era Skrillex, and that young teenager’s journey through electronic music over the course of the next decade was defined at least in part by a categorical failure to distance that now-mid-20-something’s musical taste from the scene shit they absolutely loved and still discuss online (say, for example, on a music blog or two) with high enough frequency that it’s clear to any reader that they never really got over it and probably never will; if — again, purely hypothetically — if this statistically improbable person were to listen to “Money Machine” once, then listen to it thirteen times more in a row, then continue to listen to 1000 gecs for months, I would imagine they would have trouble admitting the song and corresponding album might be exactly their lane of trash, that they’d describe it semi-jokingly as “trash” but also kind of cringe internally whenever they used the word because they’ve listened to it way too much for it to be even a semi-joking enjoyment at this point. Something like that, anyway. Purely hypothetical.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: As the 2010s draw to a close, I’m starting to believe that the second half of this decade hasn’t really seen much creative advancement in the world of music (which, is fine, but it’s a bit disappointing). “Money Machine” (and the rest of 1000 gecs) sort of solidified that for me: for something that sounds incredibly of the moment, a lot of its touchstones go back at least a few years — Brokencyde, PC Music, Sleigh Bells, 2000s pop punk, turn-of-the-decade rap like Kreayshawn and Lil B and Kitty Pryde — and the experience of listening to it recalls the internet-era genre-blending of Salem except through a “deep-fried meme” filter. It’s nevertheless the most pleasant surprise of the year. The first verse’s insults are flirtatious and absurd, and the transition from comparing this person’s arms to cigarettes and then saying “I bet I could smoke you” is an unexpectedly sublime tsundere moment. The rap-borrowed boasts could have easily felt out of place (think: Falling in Reverse’s “Alone”) but the song’s archness and the hook’s immediacy turn the clatter into joyous, blissful reverie. How are you feeling in 2019? Burnt out? Pissed off? Desperate for intimacy? Eager to splurge what little money you have? Simultaneously wanting to express all these things and never wanting to think about them, or anything at all? Well, have I got the song for you.

Jonathan Bradley: What I love about 100 gecs is the self-erasing sense of abandon in their commitment to shittiness: their constant doubling-down on their worst instincts, their ugliest sounds, and their stupidest ideas captures a vivid nihilism that strikes awe in its ability to destroy indiscriminately. “Money Machine” is a song that attempts to conjure superiority from comparative vehicle size, but its contempt is infatuated (“Your arms look so fucking cute” is disrespect, but it stills sounds smitten) and its aggression accelerates into fantasy (“You’d text me ‘I love you’/And then I’d fucking ghost you!”). The production seems to zero in on the harshest accidents of 2010s internet ephemera: the brash pretensions of Kreayshawn, which have been rediscovered half a decade later as meme fodder by TikTok teens; the ghoulish tech-shredding of Farrah Abraham’s memoir-cum-pop-dalliance; the red-lined white noise compression of Sleigh Bells at their most noisome. And all of this is absorbed into punk-pop song structures and colored with capitalism’s facile materialism, creating a glitch-fest of content that overwhelms while refusing to even consider meaning, let alone create it. There’s something to be said for an act that, at every juncture it’s given the chance to make its art better, chooses to make it worse. It’s so fucked up and it’s the most 2019 song I’ve heard all year.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The first 20 seconds of “Money Machine” are pure destruction, a funhouse mirror battle rap diss carried through the distorted tones of Laura Les. It’s thrilling (so thrilling that they put it on a novelty t-shirt) in how it uses Navy-Seal-Copypasta voice in a way that’s at once ironic and serious. Yet the thing that keeps me coming back to “Money Machine” is instead Dyln Brady’s second verse, which takes the song’s momentum and puts it into a holding pattern. It’s tuneful and ambiguous, an ellipsis where the rest of the song is an exclamation point. But both parts are necessary for the noise of “Money Machine” to cohere. The alchemy of bravado and uncertainty, all filtered through the extremely online, is a fine art, and 100 gecs is approaching mastery of it.

Alfred Soto: I was listening to Sir Babygirl most of the afternoon before playing “Money Machine,” so my nervous system reacted to the attitude and boom boom bap of the beats. I especially relished the intro riff: a distorted whatever imitating a banjo played as if it were a bazooka.

Alex Clifton: In early college I tried really hard to like MGMT and Animal Collective and Sleigh Bells and all the Cool Indie Bands that were critically acclaimed — all the noise pop that felt rife with inflated egos. The good news is that now I’m not a tryhard 18-year-old wanting to impress people, I don’t have to pretend to like this!

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9 Responses to “100 gecs – Money Machine”

  1. I really like this song and “Stupid Horse,” which sounds a whole lot like blink-182’s “Rollercoaster” (my favorite song on TOYPAJ!)

  2. Sorry to miss this one it’s wild :(

    If you’re looking for the spiritual heir* to Farrah Abraham this year, I really like the MaHaWam album “Is an Island.”

    *no follow-up qs will be fielded

  3. hometown kids blowin up !! chicago baybee <3

  4. great writing all around here

    I’m just relieved I wasn’t the only one who heard Farrah Abraham in this

  5. I will admit that I’ve listened to the Farrah Abraham album more than once and it’s…. obviously not good but strangely compelling

  6. screaming at the farrah abraham references – for those of you who haven’t heard it, her album is actually pretty decent imo. years of teenage anguish chopped and screwed in a blender of electro-dubstep-clash cacophony. like a 16 year old alice glass screamed into the void and a void touched 808 threw this album back.

    it works for all the wrong reasons and i will absolutely die on this hill

  7. wow raocow’s influence

  8. omg was listening to the nyt pop cast about 100 gecs and the jukebox is mentioned as covering it :)

  9. I hope the popcast forever thinks of me now as “the only person in this entry who really didn’t like 100 gecs”