Insert Toni Braxton joke here…
Kat Stevens: Good timing, Battles! The sun has just come out in the UK for the first time in 5 months and this cheerful fairground mess will be on a thousand BBC2 trailers for forthcoming Outside Broadcasts/Regional News Stories.
Josh Love: I’m fine with acknowledging this is good summertime nonsense fun if we can all admit this sounds exactly like something 311 or Phish would’ve been jamming out on at a HORDE festival in 1994.
Martin Skidmore: This is the kind of thing (I guess it’s math-rock) that evokes the prog music I hate so much from nearly 40 years ago. It’s more angular and jerky than most of that (I thought of XTC too, who I loved), but it still strikes me as music trying to impress with its cleverness and complexity, rather than trying to move or excite a listener. I could hardly be more bored.
Katherine St Asaph: I come to this knowing nothing about Battles or Aguayo or any of this, and the first sound is this really twee opening, every guitar tweaked until it sounds like the jingle for a Windows 3.1 personal finance program. And I’m not sure whether it’s that or the title or me being ornery, but I can’t help humming “sunny days, chasing the clouds away…” throughout it. But then they start playing way too fast, and then the guy in the background starts grunting really loud — on second listen, he was doing it all along, like a lurking figure — and I quit, traumatized. GROVER WOULDN’T LIKE THIS AT ALL YOU GUYS. I never thought I’d be relieved when the musicians started noodling.
Jonathan Bogart: Math-fusion meets David Byrne’s funky world-pop. Early reports suggest that this may well be the current muso track I end up loving. I only get one per decade.
Zach Lyon: Sends to the forefront a lot of the humor that was latent in “Atlas,” and the guitar/electronic parts have that same sense of aural newness and wonder, but it doesn’t really go anywhere.
Alfred Soto: Clutter and whimsy are often indivisible, aren’t they?
Jer Fairall: Inventive, playful and unpredictable in no ways that I happen to enjoy. I doubt I’ll feel worse about disliking a song all year.