100 gecs – “1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues” Album Review

The hyper pop power-duo and PC music-affiliated producers Dylan Brady and Laura Les of 100 gecs just released a collection of remixed tracks from their critically-acclaimed debut, “1000 gecs,” with a lineup of features that included big names like Fall Out Boy, Injury Reserve, Charli XCX, GFOTY, Hannah Diamond, Danny L Harle, Rico Nasty, Tommy Cash, Dorian Electra and a myriad of others. The release also contained live performances of a few of the band’s classics and additional unreleased tracks.

A few of the pre-released singles were the “ringtone” remix featuring Charli XCX, Rico Nasty, and Kero Kero Bonito, “gec 2 ü” featuring Dorian Electra, and A.G. Cook’s touch of lush synths and distorted frequencies over Brady and Les’s cartoon-pitched vocals on the remix of “money machine.” On “ringtone” Sarah Midori Perry of Kero Kero Bonito was unfortunately overshadowed by such big personalities like Charli and Rico.

The slower remix of “745 sticky” featuring Injury Reserve was ultimately a miss for me, as was the other version with Black Dresses. Compared to the original, which went at a much faster BPM rate was my favorite song on the album, so it was a a disappointment not to have either of these two particular versions do much for me.

The first remix of “hand crushed by a mallet” with Fall Out Boy, Craig Owens, and the ethereal cyborg vocals of Nicole Dollanganger, in comparison to the equally cacophonous No Thank You version, was the superior “mallet” remix. The juxtaposition of Patrick Stump and Owens’ powerhouse voices with the ethereal computerized cyborg-esque cadence of Dallanganger was an excellent balance, and the distorted screams at the very end topped it all off incredibly well.

Ricco Harver’s production on the remix of “800 db cloud” pushed the boundaries of computerized instrumentation even further than the original did, which I didn’t even know was possible. “stupid horse” with GFOTY on vocals and Count Baldor on production was another highlight, with GFOTY’s cheeky modifications to the lyrics (“Bet my money on a stupid boy, I lost that/So I ran out to the track to get my ass back”) coupled with her heavy British accent and silly quirks made the song all the more fun to listen to.

There was also a remix of “ringtone” with umru with extra over-the-top instrumentation with a lot of dramatic synths added wasn’t as stand-out as the Charli XCX and Rico version for me. As much as I love umru, the song felt more like an afterthought and didn’t really change much other than a slightly more dramatic backing instrumentation.

“xXXi_wud_nvrstøp_ÜXXx” with Tommy Cash and Hannah Diamond initially didn’t initially peak my interest until Cash’s verses were over, and it slowed down at the last minute and with only Diamond’s vocals repeating the hook (I am a massive, unapologetic Hannah Diamond fan). The pulsating synth pattern in the first few minutes is something that I’ve heard a million times. I would certainly dance to this in the club, but I don’t see myself going back to listen to it on my own time. The 99jakes remix was slightly more interesting with speedier production and more high-pitched soundboard glitches, whistles, and inverted frequencies that I enjoyed.

Lil West and Tony Velour’s version of “gecgecgec” was slightly underwhelming and lyrically uninteresting, but Les’ gorgeous and emotionally palpable chorus at the very end (“I’m not stronger than, stronger than you”) with her signature cartoon-pitched vocals redeemed it. “gec 2 ü” featuring the sensual, ambiguous vocals of Dorian Electra was my favorite track on the album with its distorted and glitchy, pulsating production.

The album also contains two additional tracks, “came to my show” and “toothless.” The intro of “came to my show,” is campy and hilarious. Hearing Brady and Les’s manipulated vocals are an acquired taste for new listeners, but as a long-time listener these two songs drew quite an emotional response from me. The album comes to a close with live performances of “800db cloud” and “small pipe.”

“1000 gecs and the Tree of Clues” is available for purchase on iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify, Soundcloud, and Apple Music.

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