Peel Dream Magazine
Agitprop Alterna


1.5
very poor

Review

by eureka USER (6 Reviews)
January 8th, 2021 | 9 replies


Release Date: 04/03/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Kill yr idols

Upon listening to Agitprop Alterna, I'm reminded of a line in Destroyer's “Looters’ Follies” on their excellent Rubies record, where Dan Bejar declares that “a life in art and a life of mimicry [are] the same thing”, acknowledging the divide between art and artifice. This is what makes Peel Dream Magazine’s Agitprop Alterna such a resounding failure – it reads as a gimmicky nostalgia trip, one that employs familiar sounds to draw the listener in but lacks any substance underneath the sheen.

The first few seconds of “Pill” instantly recall a number of sounds from My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless: you can hear Colm O Ciosoig’s repetitive drum fills, an organ that sounds curiously similar to Kevin Shields’ guitar sound, and a barely-distinguishable Bilinda Butcher-esque vocal performance. These sounds repeat for three or so minutes before fading out without any noticeable impact.

“Pill”’s qualities already evidence the one major problem that dooms Agitprop Alterna from the outset – it plays for an aesthetic, a discount mood as opposed to a genuine love of craft and a desire to replicate the experimental attitude that made Loveless such a groundbreaking artistic success. As the album staggers on, tracks become distinguished not by the silence that separates them but by minor instrumental touches – a Krautrock-style drum machine hovering over “It’s My Body”, the slightest touch of reverb and stereo panning on “The Bertolt Brecht Society”, and the jittery synth that appears on both “Do It” and “Up and Up”. The latter track does leave the record on a somewhat hopeful note, though – the lyrics detail a fond image of flying, which paired with the relatively-diverse instrumental palette makes for a more interesting and enjoyable song.

The lyrics, when scrutinized, are precisely meaningless – “fantasia truths”, “emotional devotion creator”, “shoes/shoes/shoes”, “Unhand the man, you animal hater” – an assortment of pretty-sounding words that generally fail to warrant even the most generous defense of abstraction in art. There seems to be little effort taken in this area – rather than attempting even banal displays of emotion, the record is loaded top-to-bottom with lyrical Lorem Ipsum-isms.

Even though the sounds on this album are not patently offensive, the true lack of originality on this album is incredibly irritating. This is only marginally better than the Supreme sticker inexplicably slapped on a water bottle, the Ramones logo stamped onto a pair of flip-flops, the garden-variety romance/Christmas/Christmas romance movies on Hallmark. There is nothing wrong with a desire to emulate one’s idols, but plagiarizing their ideas and replacing any sentiment with pure balderdash is *not cool*.



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user ratings (8)
2.9
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
zaruyache
January 8th 2021


23411 Comments


idk who you are but we're fighting now you and me

also space your paragraphs! >>>>>:---[

eureka
January 8th 2021


12 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

sorry, I just really didn't care for it - I'd rather just go back to Loveless and Souvlaki for my shoegaze needs

eureka
January 8th 2021


12 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

fixed the paragraph problem!

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
January 8th 2021


2222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

sweet review, apparently i 3'd this but i do not remember a second from it lol

gotta say i'd love for mars to explain his 1 and demolish this album

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

Jots
Staff Reviewer
January 8th 2021


7318 Comments


(edits made)

eureka
January 8th 2021


12 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Thank you very much for this detailed feedback, I really appreciate it.

eureka
January 8th 2021


12 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Made the suggested revisions, hope this reads less awkwardly.

sixdegrees
January 8th 2021


10771 Comments


Thanks for the rec!

Snake.
January 8th 2021


22605 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

pos



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