Review Summary: When tried-and-true becomes too tired.
All things considered, “Can’t Kill Us” proved a pretty succulent introduction to Love Death Immortality
. Naysayers all over the Internet were quick to propagate criticisms, slamming the track for its remarkable similarity to everything on the trio’s previous outing, Drink the Sea
, and its starch-heavy, arena-filling lead riff. In this reviewer’s opinion, however, “Can’t Kill Us” is everything anyone has ever wanted from The Glitch Mob - big, bombastic, overblown music. Drink the Sea
resemblance be damned - the song is a fine representation of the epic, movie-score nature of the group, which is the reason most people listen to their music in the first place. Anyone going into a Glitch Mob album should throw any expectations of subtlety and brilliantly-crafted sonic structures out the window, and their fans (a group of which I am a part) wouldn’t want Love Death Immortality
any other way.
And then the full album came out.
If Drink the Sea
was attractive because it showed a talented group squeezing every last drop of liquid out of the metaphorical sponge of “excellent saw-toothed synth lead over thumping, huge drums,” Love Death Immortality
is essentially the same thing. Unfortunately, while Drink the Sea
proved a fruitful endeavor, one where The Glitch Mob found their musical soul of sorts, that metaphorical sponge is now completely dry, and the group’s efforts here are fruitless at best and irrefutably bad at worst. Most of the album is made up of derivative, aimless brostep and electro house, and while I’m of the mind that interesting mid-heavy music is possible, Love Death Immortality
is miles away from that. Instead, the album revolves around some sort of half-hearted mix of utter absence of midtempo experimentation and the exact same synth lead the trio employed on their first LP. By and large, the dubstep on the album sounds like a weaker version of a Seven Lions “trance-step” sound that’s gotten to be so trite that even Seven Lions himself has mostly put it behind him, and the electro house material is no more than the other side of the coin, about as faceless as possible.
Making things worse, The Glitch Mob have already pumped all possible life out of their trademark synth, and Love Death Immortality
is a demonstration of what happens when that long-since-beaten-to-death synth sound is resuscitated. Needless to say, the results aren’t pretty. Although some might argue that the supersaw is what the trio needs to employ as their defining sound of sorts, the total lack of creativity for which it allows is staggering. They can hide their strict adherence to bland EDM standards - the washed-up electro house of “Skullclub,” the boring-as-fu
ck brostep of “Skytoucher” - behind the facade of the “unique” synth leads, and the frequency with which they employ this tactic seriously detracts from each and every song here.
I suppose the point which clinches this album’s failure is that there’s absolutely no furthering of the group’s sound. And obviously, many producers have made their living pumping out the same bestseller ad nauseam, but this is The Glitch Mob we’re talking about - they’re a talented group of guys. The least we should reasonably expect is something that hearkens back to the days of yore when edIT was making cool hip-hop- and IDM-leaning stuff, pushing his sound forward all the time, always avoiding the status quo. Instead, Love Death Immortality
feels like an lazy cash grab, intentionally lethargic so that the majority of their fanbase doesn’t go home disappointed. It’s disheartening to see where The Glitch Mob’s path has led, another act lost to the nether of the electronic industry. Unfortunately, at this point it doesn’t look like much can be done to save them.