Black Dice
Broken Ear Record


3.5
great

Review

by Chris Jackson USER (177 Reviews)
June 3rd, 2007 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Some things are just meant to go together. Bread and butter, milk and cereal, potatoes and gravy, Michael Vick and dogfighting, etc. On Black Dice’s fifth studio release, Broken Ear Record the trio ignores this combining genres of music that have absolutely no relation to one another. Think about drinking soda with cake, or running sprints with a thick wool sweatshirt. Black Dice create noises that would normally make a listener cringe however Broken Ear Record actually possesses a strange yet rewarding sound.

Broken Ear Record is filled with looped drumbeats, psychedelic keyboard squirts, tribal rhythms, and spastic melodies. Musically Black Dice contain a dance-esque quality but the music is overly cluttered with random bleeps and computer sounds making it difficult to get your groove on. Tracks such as ”Smiling Off” and ”Snarly Yow” are dominated by funky, spiraling beats and other various effects which include tribal chanting, erratic guitar effects, and indecipherable vocals. Instead of playing these at separate times in the song Black Dice just combine all of these sounds at once creating a psychedelic mess which looks like a catastrophe on paper however once you listen to the final product it feels very fresh and groovy. “Motorcyle” makes one feel as if they’re on a demented pirate ship, the detached, bouncy drum loops are lumped together with odd synthesizer warbles and upbeat, catchy chanting.

If I was forced to pinpoint Black Dice down to a single genre I don’t think it would be possible. They combine influences from electronica, drum & bass, psychedelica, funk, and new-wave. It’s almost as if the trio brought out a blender and threw all of these genres into it, as a result the listener is greeted with a jumbled mess of rhythms and melodies. Although these genres aren’t meant to go together Black Dice are able to pull it off creating a zany, quirky, and crazy sound that no other band has even remotely resembled.

Approach Broken Ear Record with a caution because it is one of the most inaccessible albums that I have ever heard. Black Dice has such an abstract, jarring sound that it’s difficult to get into if you’re not a fan of experimental music. The two brief random noise experiments (“Aba” and “Twins”) can also become grating after several listens. Some listeners may find the album too over the top and synth savvy, however it’s hard to deny that unique sound that Broken Ear Record contains. For an album that falls just short of forty minutes Broken Ear Record will satisfy anyone who is looking for something different.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Slaapkamers
June 3rd 2007


596 Comments


You've never drank soda with cake?

MeowMeow
June 3rd 2007


662 Comments


Hmm. This sounds like it would be a challenging listen, which I'm always up for. Great review.

Slaapkamers
June 3rd 2007


596 Comments


Nothing Black Dice has really been inaccessible.

Zebra
Moderator
June 3rd 2007


2647 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've drank soda with cake before and it was nasty.
I still don't know what my favorite Black Dice album is. I think I like Creature Comforts a little more then this but I still don't have much of an opinion on Beaches and Canyons

Slaapkamers
June 3rd 2007


596 Comments


Beaches and Canyons is awesome.

samthebassman
June 4th 2007


2164 Comments


Album artwork to die for.

antihippy
June 4th 2007


696 Comments


wow, you have longer sentences than i do. never knew that was possible.

:salutes:

lol @ cover. sounds good.

AlienEater
June 4th 2007


716 Comments


Cool band

any14doomsday
June 4th 2007


679 Comments


This is good, but beaches and canyons is better. Motorcycle is a really good song.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 5th 2007


17920 Comments


Michael Vick and dogfighting

humor in a zebra review? never thought i'd see the day.

Meelk
June 5th 2007


126 Comments


there's a butt on the cover.

MrKite
June 6th 2007


5020 Comments


The proper terminology is ass, Meelk.

astrel
January 6th 2008


2614 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really dig this band.

Digging: Jessie Ware - Tough Love

The Jungler
August 13th 2008


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like this a lot, none of the songs are extremely long (like Beaches and Canyons) so it's kind of an easier listen. That said, I don't think the songs are quite as good as Beaches and Canyons either.
Also, soda and cake would be gross I think, especially if the cake had like buttermilk frosting or something like that.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2010


15051 Comments


worst album cover ever also 'smiling off' rules



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