Review Summary: ZAP - DEAD - HAHA - SUDOKU
KAIZO SLUMBER YEAR 2023? This guy’s full-length debut last year was a largely forgettable melding of all the standard breakcore gamer- and raver-isms into one mega-derivative stack of tropes that left me bored and bereft of any hope for the future
. Love being wrong! His latest record How Are We Feeling Today?
leaves formulaic breakcore in the past and goes full digital hardcore in delightfully frazzled fashion: these tracks run the full gamut of mix of hyperactive Machine Girl worship (“PROTOPHANTASY”, “GENGAR ECSTASY”), ephemeral maybe-danceable what the fucks (“MARIONETTE”, “2007 TOYOTA SIENNA”) and full-tilt beatdowns (“NAPALM STICKS TO KIDS”, “BLOOD TYPE”) with irresistible energy. It’s a wilfully chaotic mess and, honestly, a whole lot of fun. Key to this is the album’s pacing - its shit-versus-wall approach is balanced by succinct songwriting, to the point that even weaker cuts still contribute a respectable amount of novelty value
. Hardly anything here catches so much as a glimpse of the two minute mark, and, with a 25-minute runtime and screwball soundbyte fodder galore, the album’s shrapnel factor is well lubricated. Kaizo Slumber’s gamer gang jingles and incessant slogan soundbKAIZO WORLDWIDE
ytes scanned as a half-arsed clutch at personability on his debut, but here they find themselves immaculately situated as breathers between whichsoever meltdowns. Kaizo himself, the man, the talent is in fine form across the board - his production here is shockingly crisp for a record so devoted to claustrophobic barrages of übersaturated machinehell
, and, barring a frantic cameo from Burnt Synapse and a brief Hatsune Miku phone-in, he takes on mic duties throughout the album. His delivery as rave MC is respectably convincing throughout, warranting a spotlight on the album’s final endgame burnout “KAIZO BLUNDER” (epilogued in fine style by closer “SFX HABIBI”’s robotic suicide-of-pastiche). Good stuff/growth/beans/dancefloor/death etc..
There is but one point that gives me serious pause for thought: the good tracks are perhaps a little too
good? “COMIC MISCHIEF” and, especially, “REUBEN’s WALTZ” are easily the most developed pieces here, both landing an impressive spread of bloodlettings and internal lacunas inside of runtimes no less succinct than their fellows’. For all the record’s scattershot charm, these two carry a sense that Kaizo might have slightly undersold himself with this sound. How Are We Feeling Today?
is undoubtedly a better record for them, but these songs’ glimmers of greatness puncture the bubble of digisnot that the rest of the album sustains so deliciously mindlessly. Life is like a box of chocolates: you fuckin’ get some. Rock on, restless nerd crusader.