Lil Mariko
Lil Mariko


3.7
great

Review

by JohnnyoftheWell STAFF
March 21st, 2021 | 106 replies


Release Date: 03/18/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 100 dicks on my phone / please leave me the fuck alone

Lil Mariko is fuckng intense. She has released her first EP/minialbum/thing of new material, and it is as faithful to her whiplash brand of deeply, deeply cursed catastrophecore as anyone had cause to fear-hope. Listen and be grateful.

Having followed her ups and downs and screams and pouts for almost a year, I’ve come to expect great things of Lil Mariko. Real name Katherine Zhang, she shot to fame off the back of zero musical experience in late 2019 with the viral ascent of “Where’s My Juul”, her boredom-staving experiment with boyfriend/Insta-guy/gag artist Full Tac. That song’s gimmick was violent, TikTok-ready gold dust, and while the duo did well to preserve its intensity on future tracks, they’ve also been a little conservative on advancing on its blueprint. The blueprint in question is gloriously distasteful - I’ve seen people referring to it as trap metal, but the reality is at once more complex (‘coz #irony) and more simple. Do we really need a goofy genre tag to convey the reality of a petite Asian-American lady screeching memes of terror over gorgeously lazy beats? This has carried her...somewhere: just over a year since “Where’s My Juul”, and Lil Mariko has a couple of singles, a treat of a Dorian Electra collab, and a sizable level of VICE-flavoured hype behind her. What to do now? Double down on the gimmick, walk a new path, blaspheme against everything pure and sacred, or sell out to the powers of good taste? She has everything to prove and a world to win. It is time for a proper debut: strap on and go!

Lil Mariko is an appropriately bumpy ride. It crosses its eyes towards the past and future simultaneously, sticks its tongue firmly in its cheek (and elsewhere), and turns the present into an impossibly long timeframe where fleeting moments last forever and attention spans are the butt of every joke. In some senses, it’s a step forwards: the bookends in particular see Lil Mariko double down on trap with a hitherto absent interest in exploring genre intricacies rather than skimming the surface for sweet, sweet shock value. Opener “Hi, I’m A Slut” is a gleefully debauched celebration of living that world-class hoe life; closer “Catboys” rounds things off with a ferocious ode to pegging (claws out, nails trimmed). These two tracks are as graphic and profane as anything in Lil Mariko’s small portfolio, but their focus takes a baby step beyond the novelty of her home territory, picking up where her appearance on Dorian Electra’s “Ram It Down” left off and dishing out a sex-posi lyrical assault that largely sidelines screaming and feels twice as visceral for it.

Everything in between commits to the thrill that originally brought Lil Mariko to notoriety and revisits it across a variety of guises. “Shiny” is the best of these because the pure fucking absurdity and chiasmatic rhyme scheme of its full-throated chorus is hilarious in ways that few of life’s pleasures come close to (I’m a shiny bitch / I got lots of shiny shit / I got glitter on my clit / coz I’m a shiny bitch); “100 Dicks” fares almost as well for similar reasons, and “Don’t Touch”, first of her post-Juul singles, is no slouch. These tracks all thrive off the same alternation between menacing synth hooks and overkill screaming, but their diversity of lyrical content (post-glamour/unwanted dick pics/unwanted groping) keeps their onslaught engaging. On the other hand, I’m not convinced that the Zheani collaboration “Disgusting” has quite the same edge to it with its indiscriminate gross-out, and the chug-reppin “I’m Baby” comes a little close to Poppy’s cardinal sin of aping metal conventions beyond the scope of irony, but three for five ain’t a bad hit ratio for this kind of memeage.

While it’s a great relief that Lil Mariko has finally bestowed unto us a collection of multiple songs that can be heard in a presequenced order, Lil Mariko reinforces some of my reservations that she was never cut out for this kind of release to begin with. In all its sixteen-minute glory, it’s too exhausting to recapture that magnetic replay-this-seventy-times-immediately quality that made her standalone cuts so sensational. Lil Mariko’s schtick is forceful and funny enough to have mileage, but she has a way to go when it comes to shifting stances as creatively as the acts she’s been associated with directly (Dorian Electra) or indirectly (100 gecs). As it is, Lil Mariko left me torn between the most depraved kind of satisfaction and an entitled find-new-ways-to-entertain-me armchair stance; neither the best nor worst final impression. There’s a certain story-so-far-ism in the way it wraps up her style, but the release doesn’t feel like any kind of end point; it’s a momentarily overwhelming promise of further thrills, and a cautionary, though hardly fatal, reminder of violent novelty’s fickle staying power. Is the best yet to come, or are “Where’s My Juul??” and “Shiny” as good as it gets? Who knows. I’m as uncomfortable as ever waiting for whatever the hell happens next - and that’s the most important thing.



Recent reviews by this author
Asian Glow Cull FicleGodspeed You! Black Emperor G_d's Pee AT STATE'S END!
Tomahawk Tonic ImmobilityKayoko Yoshizawa Akahoshi Aoboshi
Lana Del Rey Chemtrails Over The Country ClubOtay:onii Ming Ming
user ratings (45)
3.1
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

https://open.spotify.com/album/4FA6S8h3E3bCiLApDDPZzb?si=zKpbAh7xSK--bPiY94C_JQ

this is the end of music there can be no more music now

Digging: Xiu Xiu - OH NO

Pangea
March 21st 2021


6207 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ohh need to check



shiny is a masterpiece

Digging: Danny Brown - XXX

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

Shiny is song of the year, but Hi, I'm A Slut gives it a respectable run for its money

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

woah that first song sure do be something

Digging: Lunation Fall - Near

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

and great rev johnny but 'tiktok' is one word, get with the times plz

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

oh my goodness i have never felt so out of touch with reality lemme fix that rn

DadKungFu
March 21st 2021


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Hi is this bubblegum death grips?

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

no it's 100 gecs for catbois

DadKungFu
March 21st 2021


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Yes but in the worst way possible



I gave this an extra .5 because "I'll take my louboutins and castrate you" is a pretty amazing line but this is nearly as obnoxious as Blood on the Dance Floor

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

it is obnoxious yes

JesperL
Contributing Reviewer
March 21st 2021


2812 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bubblecum pop

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
March 21st 2021


34823 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

bedazzlecore

Conmaniac
March 21st 2021


26372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

hi

I'm a slut!

screams on point tho damn

LeddSledd
March 21st 2021


4741 Comments


music for that one unnecessarily snarky and abrasive gay person you know to stan incessantly

Digging: Immolation - Close to a World Below

GhandhiLion
March 21st 2021


11153 Comments


is this a meme rating

Digging: Pinetop Seven - Bringing Home the Last Great Strike

Conmaniac
March 21st 2021


26372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Princessbri also a decent artist doing this cutesy scream grlll style her earlier stuff v much like this

GhandhiLion
March 21st 2021


11153 Comments


100 gicks

Conmaniac
March 21st 2021


26372 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah theres def a hyperpop influence here too

Sinternet
March 21st 2021


24057 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

.

Digging: Lost Girls - Menneskekollektivet

GhandhiLion
March 21st 2021


11153 Comments


!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2019 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy