The agenda is set by opener "Status 2016," in which a slurred, downpitched voice repeats, "In 2016 it is illegal to be gay in approximately 75 nations and regions around the world." The flat, robotic voice and the vacant synthetic drone behind it seem void of emotion, which makes the message grimmer. Voices elsewhere on the EP are harder to decipher. On "Infix," we get the phrase "looking out the window" uttered apathetically over sour metallic percussion and slow drums. On the closer, "Emperor Ali," Cornish tells us something about Imperial China, though it's half-lost in a nightmare of burbling voices and meandering kicks and claps.
The lack of further explanation suggests Cornish wants our minds fixed on his bleak opening message. (Maybe "Status 2016" is to 21st century homophobia what Babyfather's "Stealth Intro"—the looped phrase of "This makes me proud to be British"—was to nationalism in the UK.) Tracks like "LW" and "Vauxhall," ultra-sparse constructs of unadorned drum hits, lock you in their cold, unflinching gaze. Only "Cut," with its bolder melody and grime-like rhythm, makes concessions to musical convention.