Title: Bend Mega
Keywords: Industrial, Avantgarde, Glitch, IDM, Hip Hop, Acoustic, Experimental
Reviewer: Alex Spalding
In an age long passed, from a time in which artifacts of great lore were forged and gods walked among us, came one day the Bend Mega. It arrived from the sea and the gathering of men upon whom it had been unceremoniously bestowed immediately recognized it’s unique beauty and power, but it brought nothing but ruin to the men and their tribe. So it was that, wracked by a desire to see it destroyed and a lust to keep the item hidden from the others, it’s power used privately, the three men who had originally discovered it and who were also by now far older as many troubled years had gone by since the item had first been found undertook the task of returning it to the sea from which it came. It was decided that they would carve it into three pieces and toss it to the waves that crashed against the rocks of that accursed shore, and that none from the tribe could ever go looking for it. This never came to be… though no one knows what happened next, for the men were never seen again.
Naturally, we know now that there was a rational, material explanation for all of that, such civilised times we live in.
For instance, the album itself was crafted by Toiletooth, a Garden Gnomekin rhymesmith from California. The power of the Bend Mega was in it’s ability to make people dance and forget all their worries. It arrived to the sea purely by accident, the sea itself being of little special quality besides being a rather nice place to relax or bring a girl you like. As for the men? They were abducted by aliens. Is there a moral to this story? Not really.
Bend Mega begins with ‘Mother, Come Home’, a twangy hillbilly yokel anthem. Just vocals at first but after the first several measures some acoustic guitar starts up and then we’re treated to more vocals in a sort of bizarro stereo chorus. The vocals are purely absurd and amazing… get used to it because much of the album’s lyrical content is of that nature, though the music itself is pretty varied! A shit whistle fife type thing starts up later alongside some snapping fingers and the music gets uptempo for a bit before the refrain kicks back in, then it ends with a repetitive harmonica thing.
‘City Of Druids’ is the next track, beginning with a sample of someone talking about a crossword puzzle competition or something. Then a distorted industrial beat starts up with a rap both ridiculous and ridiculously excellent. Harsh electronic signals and beeps, deep ass bass groove and 909 snare pumps like some kind of liquid compressor. Very wild stuff!
Afterward comes ‘Someone Loves Everyone’, which is like listening to rainsticks at first, but then another tiny fife sound comes in and the vocals come in. This is one of my favourite tracks here, it just always puts you in a good mood, very magical stuff. Some kind of mouth harp thing happens for a bit, you hear weird vocal stuff all over the place. It’s as if it were made using a bunch of old toys, particularly that whirring whoosh sound! Ends with some whistling and the chatter of rainsticks.
‘Idegfdtre’ starts with a clipped up xylophone sound. It ends, replaced with a somber, melodic acoustic guitar and odd samples. A cheapo organ lead (or maybe it’s another whistle?) and Gregorian-esque and gruff choirs come in. Very nice intensity created toward the end with added reverberation!
Then it’s ‘Hey, Lay Down’. You hear a gong, a shuffling of drums, sonic noise and some bird chirps, then a jazzy drum groove comes in alongside some smooth piano. Little girls say, “Hey, lay down” and tell you to be calm. The drums get chopped up, like a car in a shop. The pitch is shifted a bit, then everything disappears.
‘AstaRR’ is a crazy, spitting beatbox with a chorus of rap! Whoa. This is one of those tracks you have to hear at least once in your life, but you’ll probably want to hear it several more times at various other points in your life, just for laughs.
‘As You Fade From Me, Boy, I’m Alright’ might be my absolute favourite on the album, though. Totally glitched up and pitchshifted vocals, as well as a steely guitar strum create a strangely beautiful and almost ambient experimental feel. You’ll just… have to hear it… a downtempo groove comes in later, which works really well, makes the whole thing sound even more broken up. Ends with some strange bassy electronic noises and rasping tape skips.
The last track on this album, which will always feel sadly short to me, is ‘Dearest Depth Monger’, which has some experimental avantgarde percussion, whistles like the howl of a strange wind. A tribal track that takes weirdness to the max for a bit before it disappears into backmasked vocals and returns once again. Super trippy! Ends with a gong and some more tom bashing.
In parting, a most magical journey of sound lay before you, reader, from the moment you hit play – but where will the path take you? What events shall unfold? What might you glean from the voyage by the time it is through? I cannot answer these questions for you, but only unlock the rabbit hole by which this adventure can begin. Good luck and safe travels!