Ducktails
Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew Kaster USER (24 Reviews)
January 19th, 2011 | 17 replies | 6,660 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “The future belongs to the analog loyalists. Fuck digital”

The eastern seaboard caught in the tail end of winter would be one of the last places to find frolicking waves galloping towards sun drenched sand, and yet this hasn’t discouraged New Jerseyan Matthew Mondanile from remedying his cabin fever one bit on Ducktails’ third album, “Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics”. Sounding like the lovechild of Ariel Pink and Panda Bear, Mondanile’s latest project takes a more scenic route, diverting from the fuzz charged and sunbeam totting guitar pop of his previous releases in favor of a more relax and chilled sound. There’s a gentle and warm drone that lingers and washes over the waves of reverberated guitar lines, almost as if he placed a microphone on the shore of a beach and allowed it to capture the foamy hiss of the incoming tide. Choosing instead to house these pop gems within cassette tapes, the crackle and hiss is left to create a distant sound resulting in something both lonely and spacious.

Gentle and brief toe tapers make up a good half of the album, as Mondanile’s mastered blend of surf rock, psychedelic, and folk guitar playing takes the spotlight, crafting multiple melodies that bubble and move against one another. Relax and lose focus, and it all blends seamlessly together into the sound of pastel painted hammock hideouts. The balance of noise and pop is expertly executed in songs such as “In the Swing”, “Hamilton Road”, and the ode to slackers, “Don’t Make Plans” (“Hey man, do you have a plan?/I don’t have plans to be a man/Hey man, what’s with all your plans?/I don’t make plans, I waste them man”). While these songs don’t accurately portray Ducktails’ more unique sounds, the guitar work transforms these blissful and perfectly enjoyable tunes into finely crafted works. As the album continues on, the light and fluffy exterior sometimes slowly begins to melt into stranger and spacier drone pop pieces. The dripping “The Razor’s Edge” and hazy “Sunset Liner” are perfect examples of this. Possibly the album’s strongest moment is on the Noah Lennox collaboration, “Killing the Vibe”, and the ten minute long formless and wandering drone of “Porch Projector”. Both songs hold strong as Ducktails’ finest ventures into both the pop and drone territories.

“Ducktails III: Arcade Dynamics” is a wonderful piece of fake imitated nostalgia, invested in the images of plastic palm trees, cheap coconut shaped cups, and dollar store leis. Growing up in California and spending countless weekends with my dad playing with mix tapes and worn down home video recordings, I can’t help but have a soft spot for this sort of fuzzy, “glo-fi” nostalgia. Listening is akin to dreaming while half awake and half asleep; lucid hallucinations and dreams stirred together into an anabolic mixture. It’s a testament to what Steve Albini once said, “The future belongs to the analog loyalists. *** digital”, and bedroom bound narcoleptic analog whizzes like Matthew Mondanile seem to be the inheritors.



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user ratings (39)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
accompliceofmydeath
January 19th 2011


4213 Comments


Please tell me this thread will be dedicated to the show.

Digging: Life of Agony - Ugly

SloppyMilkshake
January 19th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Why, of course

WeepingBanana
January 19th 2011


10135 Comments


i have this guy's first album but haven't listened to it. i'll probably get this

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 19th 2011


31153 Comments


Give me a link to some artwork and I can add it for you

Digging: Banks - Goddess

SloppyMilkshake
January 19th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://betterpropaganda.com/images/artwork/Ducktails_IIIX_Arcade_Dynamics-Ducktails_480.jpg

Here ya go, thanks a ton. Like I mentioned in the For the Meds thread, artwork has been wonky for me lately.

thebhoy
Emeritus
January 19th 2011


4459 Comments


Ducktails awooo-wooo

DoubtGin
January 19th 2011


6752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

guitar is so chill

Slum
January 19th 2011


2579 Comments


DUCKTAILS OHWEEOH


good review

timbo8
January 19th 2011


618 Comments


Nice review. Gonna listen to this this weekend hopefully, Landscapes was chill, and I love Real Estate.

conradtao
Emeritus
January 20th 2011


2090 Comments


Man, you're really on a roll with these reviews, SloppyMilkshake. Yet another really well-written piece. Pos.

Tyrael
January 20th 2011


20872 Comments


Very nice piece of work!

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

SloppyMilkshake
January 20th 2011


981 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks a ton for the positive feedback.

alachlahol
January 20th 2011


7489 Comments


what the balls i thought id already listened to this album a year ago is this really just being released now

cbmartinez
January 20th 2011


2525 Comments


this is fantastic. all this jersey lo-fi underwater peoples stuff that's coming out is fucking awesome (though i'm prob a little biased, as i from jersey). "Art Vandelay" is my favorite. the killing the vibe with panda bear is great too

lobby
February 1st 2011


1251 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

sucks

PuddlesPuddles
November 19th 2011


4772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

lobby is correct

thatdamnpunk
December 3rd 2013


3 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I dont know what it is about this album. I've been listening to it atleast once a week for since aboout a year ago, and i love it even more then the first time i heard it. it continues to suprise, and entertain me. One of my favs of all time!



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