lol's debut album Me Me defies genre boundaries, pulling influence from drum & bass, dubstep, indie rock, house and beyond. Indeed, the whole point of the group, seemingly, is to take genre boundaries, and redraw them completely. It's this lack of classification that makes Instra:mental's NonPlus records such a perfect home for the album. With a smorgasbord of tempos and styles released across the label, it's anyone's guess as to what is coming next from the imprint.
Made in a bedroom in a warehouse in Hackney Wick by three unemployed, disillusioned and directionless friends—Catie, Maggie and Jamie—Me Me effortlessly sums up these feelings. Lyrics such as "squeeze me too much," hint at the slightly sinister undertones that inevitably accompany the "self-obsession, social anxiety, drug abuse and failed relationships," that the group state were primary influences behind the album.
Maggie's voice has a Disney-esque sound oddly enough, but there's also a fair bit of sleaziness as well. It's a perfect complement to the often grimy basslines that abound as well Jamie's flat yet satisfying voice. In the soulful "Trophy Wife," we also get to hear Cate's London-tinged, perfectly enunciated rap. The album is not just about the basslines and vocals. It's very much defined by its textures, which range emotionally from aggression to depression and everything in between. Take, for instance, the final three songs—a trio which might as well be one. Beginning with "VHS," whose echoing steel drums seem created to ease the 7 AM comedown, we're led into "White Noise," an ethereal piece whose simple accompaniment of the indistinct vocals accentuates their dreaminess. Finally, after a tape rewinds, you're shocked by the uncontrolled offensiveness of "Hello Hell"—the reality of the morning after perhaps.
The oddest thing about Me Me is that it shouldn't work: If someone told me to listen to a vocal dubstep/electronic/post rock/shoegaze album made by three unknown friends out of a warehouse in Hackney, I'd tell them where to shove it. But, as things on NonPlus often do, it somehow makes a lot more sense when you simply listen to it.
- Published /
Tue / 26 Apr 2011
- Words /