Everyone missed their chance to finally make an ELECTRONIC DUCK MUSIC joke…
Patrick St. Michel: Watch The Duck really want to be at the forefront of a new genre, possibly one they thought up themselves; “Poppin’ Off” has been labelled “SoulDubstep,” which would be self explanatory if this didn’t just sound like a dubstep song with a longer build up to the wobbly bits. They promote the fact they also play instruments and sing on their tracks, which would be nifty if the end result sounded drastically different than whatever else is being called EDM at the moment. The one moment where they’re on to something different is when the song swerves into a speedy section late in the song… joined by distant chorus… before suddenly slowing to a syrupy pace before ending with the song rewinding on itself. It’s genuinely interesting, more so than the stab at being “ahead of the curve” elsewhere on “Poppin’ Off.”
Ian Mathers: Just more proof that, like nearly any reviled musical element, those post-Skrillex drops and wubs work just fine when they’re part of the ingredients rather than the whole meal. (And sometimes even in the latter case, but that’s rarer.) Fine vocals, and the song gets into a hell of a groove in the middle, but the slowed-down interlude really kills the momentum and the song never really recovers.
Iain Mew: Yet another much better alternative to Alex Clare’s mix of dubstep + grizzled soul vocals. In this case the crucial difference is the benefit gained from having a sense of humour, the vworps and judders used inventively in a way that plays as much on how ridiculous they are as how forceful.
Brad Shoup: Laconic piano, hazy guitar, dubby bass: this could have gone in any of a few directions. Instead, they coalesce into dubstep (which, to their credit, sounds like bubbles poppin’ off). The vocals let the sunshine in: my preference is for complete phrases rather than pointillist R&B borrowing, and this has the good-natured tone of complaint of classic Joe Tex. The phases and stages promote their live-band bonafides, but make vehicular listening difficult.
Edward Okulicz: Touches of dubstep, because it’s 2012, but this is hotter and stickier and rather more intoxicating. Sounds better than it should because I’ll take the monologue as a mantra and have it running around my head for days. Slowed down, chopped up, run backwards; “Poppin’ Off” has more tricks than it seems on the first listen, and it no doubt is going to bore people because it’s so… tasteful.
Jonathan Bogart: The dubstep bits sound like pretty much every dubstep bits you’ve ever heard, and the shout-sung bits just kind of sit there, neither melodic nor furious enough to register as anything but sloganeering. I appreciate the attempt to add something like traditional musicianship to What The Kids Are Listening To, but the end result is kind of just a party-heartier Death Grips.
Will Adams: I’m all for fusion, but it requires a solid grasp of each genre that gets thrown into the pot. The funk is on point, but the dubstep often reads amateurish.
Katherine St Asaph: You could SO troll Jack White fans with this. For that alone: