Experimental pop duo 100 gecs’ new mixtape is one of the most thrilling and bizarre experiences of the decade.
To call 1000 gecs (watch the zeroes) a pop album, as many streaming services have, is an understatement; ‘1000 gecs’ is a pop album, a brostep album, an alt rock album, a noise album, an emo rap album, a midi jazz album, and even a ska album at some points. Across only 23 minutes, collaborators Dylan Brady and Laura Les manage to weave through all of these genres, yet still bring their own spin to each different style.
The duo’s production straddles the line between heavenly bubblegum bass and hellish deconstructed club, often in the same song. Take “745 sticky,” which starts as a pop-rap banger that wouldn’t have sounded too out of place in SOPHIE’s early discography, but by the last 30 seconds sounds like a blown-out Skrillex track.
The rest of the album continues that energy, with short blasts of the metallic and noisy yet sugary and fun-loving deconstructions of genre-hopping club music. “800db cloud” mixes indietronica with industrial metal to create a string of intense climaxes in just under two and a half minutes. “xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx” fuses happy hardcore with brostep to create the noisiest and most off-kilter drop you’ll hear this year, and “stupid horse” manages to create a trap-ska hybrid that sounds straight out of an early 2000s cartoon opening.
The vocals are just as wild. Drenched in autotune, constantly pitch shifted and often distorted, they call back both to awful late 2000s pop cliches and internet earrape memes: a recipe for disaster that somehow produces a tastefully silly and infectious product.
The lyrics are just as wonderful; whether they’re singing charmingly sweet but ominous ballads on “ringtone” or calling somebody a “little piss baby” on “money machine,” they never fail to engage and add to the appeal of this other-worldly album.
The instrumental interludes somewhat harm the pace of the album, but they shouldn’t be dismissed. Dissonant and arhythmic, they feel akin to the modern day equivalent of a jazz soloist’s improvised jams; not very catchy, but certainly intriguing.
The latter half of this album (spare the “gecgecgec” interlude) lack the same experimentation the first half does to a degree, which is disappointing, but they still manage to balance between accessible and absolutely bonkers pretty well; besides, the killer songwriting and production allows for more straightforward tracks to still sound just as great as the rest of the album.
1000 gecs is quite possibly one of the most strange and unique albums you’ve ever heard. If you’re looking for a short but mind-melting ride through a post-internet fever dream, this is the album for you.