Review Summary: Another average release from the always average Skrillex just in time for the holidays!
Well here we go again. Just when you thought you were through with Skrillex this year, he's back for more, as if he's trying to outdo James Blake with the most dubstep releases in the past two years. But while each James Blake release had a distinct feel to it, you could mash up all the Skrillex eps together in any random order into a full length and no one would know the difference. The music on the last two EPs just don't have any feeling to them, and the only distinctive quality is that they sound rushed. This is the kind of music where you can listen to it, half enjoy it, and then forget you ever heard it afterwards. It's the audio equivalent to the Transformers movies.
I think the biggest problem with Skrillex's love of merging womps with electro melodic sensibilities is that they just can't go together cohesively. His songs have distinct sections to them, the womps and the melodic parts. They are never around simultaneously. Sure sometimes he switches back and forth, but they're still separate. This formula of his worked at first, but like an ice cream cone in the hot sun, it can't last very long. If Skrillex ever decides to make a full length album he's going to need to branch out, or at least hire some producers who know what they're doing.
The major problem is this ep just feels rushed. three of the tracks come in around three and a half minutes, significantly shorter than some of his previous work. Maybe he's trying to go commercial and even try to get a legit radio hit. Or maybe he's just bored with his own songs and just wants to finish them as quickly as possible and get them over with. Either way it feels lazy and rushed.
Bangarang has a collaboration on all but one track. This could be a sign that Sonny is losing his creative charm and needed some fresh minds to spruce up his stale tracks. This could also signify that Skrillex has no confidence in his own abilities. Whatever the case may be, it's no excuse for creating some downright dreadful tracks. For instance, Right On Time has the most blatantly obvious and overused built up structure. It is so bad and cliche I feel like I'm listening to an amateur DJ on youtube. The electronic guitar in The Devil's Den sounds very Daft Punk inspired. Looks like Sonny just started listening to some electronic 101 and wants to show off his newfound influences. Even the robotic vocals in the track scream Daft Punk. If you're going to rip somebody off, you could at least make it less obvious and not ripoff arguably the most well known electronic act in the world.
Skrillex's "nice" sounding melodic parts are much stronger than his "filthy" dustup pieces. Just as with Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, the last track, (the most melodic track) is by far the best. He has a real skill for chopping up vocal tracks and creating nice melodies, but he knows the kids come for the womps and he makes sure to keep the melodies at a minimum. While the chopped up vocal samples used to convey melody or even comic relief (oh my god call 911 now), it feels like Skrillex is now just trying to annoy his audience with some of the vocal samples on this EP.
I wouldn't say there is anything bad about this EP, it's just uninspired and pretty mediocre. Skrillex throws in as many sounds and parts into his songs he can, but he totally misses the ball on the whole music have feeling aspect of songwriting. Forgive me for using the same analogy twice, but Skrillex really is the musical equivalent to a summer popcorn flick. It's just mindless fun and you can take it or leave it for what it is. I really want to like Skrillex. He has shown signs of promise in the past, but he can't except to earn any credibility in the electronic music scene if he doesn't show any innovation or at the very least some improvement. Another average EP from Skrillex is in the books, and I'm sure we can expect more average uninspired released to come into the next year.