Review Summary: Turnip-squeezing bashi-bazouksLoserlord
conveys a sort of silly-serious tradeoff, like a 16-bit RPG with comically simple visuals alongside harbingers of destruction and doom. It can be moody and evocative, but you can’t help crack a smile at what are probably self-aware technological quirks. Especially in the physical cassette form, Loserlord
feels a bit like an antiquated video game, with enough familiarity to invoke nostalgia and a sense of discovery coupling history and fantasy. From the get-go with “Don”, Mudd Corp utilize old-school synths with ambiguous intent; it blends elements of dance with obsessive fine-tuning, calling to mind IDM pioneer Mark Bell. With tracks like early highlight “Run Paper Bot Run”, Mudd Corp balance catchiness, smooth tone, and versatility. The head-bobbing base-level rhythms tend to detract from what is often nuanced and rich, making Loserlord
both easily accessible and elusive; it’s tricky to peg down what all is happening in various platforms, and there is often little motivation, as the main floor is plenty entertaining. “MyJohnThomas” has crunchy synth lines and groovy rhythms, which underplay the more interesting manipulations overhead; follow-up “Red Lobster” is the opposite, with relatively sparse bass and an increased focus on an atmosphere augmented by mid-range pulses and sharp analog synths.
It’s difficult to decide what exactly Loserlord
advocates; it seems to cull from anywhere and everywhere on an indecisive electronic palette, utilizing house, breakbeat, dub techno, you name it - mostly using these as avenues to and from the album’s main strip. Most producers flounder when trying to mash so many styles together in one LP, but Mudd Corp make everything converge nicely into something cohesive. If anything, it all suffers slightly from an inability to filter out a few of the less-impressive tracks - Loserlord
would’ve made an excellent twenty-ish-minute EP. Still, Mudd Corp succeed in taking what is likely familiar territory and creating something distinct, and modestly so. It doesn’t have any bold declarations or giant steps in any direction; it manages to be detailed, yet aloof. There’s a weird nothing-to-prove fascination here, with an album that, despite a slew of aptly-used techniques, is content to be perceived as simple fun. The silly compound of loser + lord
connotes a would-be powerful figure who lacks the ability - or incentive - to intimidate or beguile peers; Mudd Corp certainly have the makings of electronic nobility, but are too busy painting the town to stake claims to a particular realm. What’s important to take away is, despite being pretty lax and amusing in tone, Loserlord
bears an uncanny sentimentality, summed nicely with sombre penultimate "Blue Bronco". It's tough to put a finger on, but if moments like the death of Porom and Palom (FFIV
) resonate at all, so might this.