Review Summary: The Glitch Mob drop the glitch and release a versatile debut album
The Glitch Mob is a collaboration of three Dj’s (edit, Ooah and Boreta) that play the genre of dance music known as glitch hop. Glitch hop is characterized by the use of sound effects made to resemble a computer or machine encountering some sort of technical problem (aka glitching). This might be hard to imagine for some so here is an example [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gwcdc5zUuGM&feature=related[/url]. The Glitch Mob never used the glitch aesthetic quite that often but rather only in parts to help transitions or add variety. On Drink The Sea however, the glitch sound is gone and the band seems to have opted for a more heavy house sound with some trancy influences.
The band had previously released the single Drive It Like You Stole It
, a true showcasing of how electronic dance music has the potential to sound huge and even anthemic when done right. The full length expands on this even further. The whole album is an exercise in layering and knowing just how much to put and when. Drive It Like You Stole It
showcases this perfectly in its final chorus where the band re-uses the main synth line that has made its presence quite a few times in the song but, through subtle additions in the background, manage to blow it up to sound ten times bigger and gives the song its anthemic ending.
When listening to the album, the first thing that came to mind was Justice’s Planisphere. The overdriven synth sound is somewhat reminiscent of what Justice used on said EP but The Glitch Mob make their sound much more subdued and melodic thus giving Drink The Sea a completely different overall sound. The overdriven synth sound seems to waver ever so gently and when coupled with the ever so slightly muffled sounding bass drum, can become quite entrancing. The band then layers the sound further with cleverly placed leads. The wonderful part of the album is it can be entrancing if that is what the listener is in the mood for but there is also enough variation to be listened to while completely conscious. The album goes through different phases starting off heavily with the loud, pounding Animal Vox
and slowly drifting into a more trancy kind of sound which reaches its peak on the airy Between Two Points
(Swan’s vocals seem to float beautifully around your mind throughout that song and are a big tool in making it such a standout and trance-inducing song).
As soon as this song ends we encounter the main problem with the album. We Swarm
is dreadfully out of place. After the ethereal Between Two Points
, We Swarm
feels like being slapped awake out of a beautiful dream. The song in itself is not bad in any real way but it kills the steady flow the album had had up until that point and making a lot harder than it should be to get through. Luckily it is followed by the album’s single. Drive It Like You Stole It
starts off sounding slightly out of place too but is barely noticeable after what happened with We Swarm
and, being one of the album’s best cuts, it makes up for it and more. With its deep, enveloping bass lines; catchy, well placed synth leads and anthemic finale, the song makes itself instantly stand out from the rest and is currently my most played track of the summer. The album ends with two strong songs that don’t really bring much new to the table and seem too good to be called filler but while not being good enough to stand with the earlier standouts on the album. The album could have ended with Drive It Like You Stole It
and still have had a decent 47 minute play time.
Drink The Sea is still a very enjoyable debut album that only suffers from some inconsistencies during its second half. None of its songs are bad in any way, but the second half just doesn’t seem to stand up to the first (the single being the obvious exception). I would still highly recommend checking out the album simply due to its great versatility as a mild trancy piece that is great to listen to alone in the evening, as a piece of mid-paced electronic dance music or just to listen to the same way you would with any rock/metal/hip-hop/etc album.