100 gecs: 10,000 gecs (Dog Show/Atlantic) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, June 9th, 2023  

100 gecs

10,000 gecs

Dog Show/Atlantic

Mar 23, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

What if a TIE Fighter blew up a gas station McDonald’s? What if Cotton-Eye Joe had an amphibian friend with equally ambiguous comings and goings? What if dental woes necessitated a soul-ska ballad-anthem? These are but a few of the questions 100 gecs answers with their long-awaited major label debut, 10,000 gecs. But the question burning hottest at this album’s core is whether resident gecs Laura Les and Dylan Brady can translate their internet meme-heavy collage pop from Redditor’s headphones to the arena.

100 gecs make the type of music that is certain to get “kids these days” scorn from “TikTok is making us dumber” truthers. It’s all fast, maximalist blasts of adrenaline and dopamine with the ability to take unexpected genre turns faster than you can swipe up. Yet, this amount of detail requires the utmost precision and determination to pull off. Creating something that sounds chaotic is one thing; controlling that chaos is something else entirely. Les and Brady’s exhaustive approach to 10,000 gecs—the duo scrapped 4,000 demos in search of the best 27 minutes they could offer—is not haphazard work. It’s deliberate, serious, and delightful.

This approach would all sound really stuffy and pretentious if not for the fact that the thing 100 gecs are most serious about in their music is not being serious. The album opens on “Dumbest Girl Alive,” where Les (still Auto-Tuned, but nearer her natural voice) sings about putting emojis on her grave over a guitar riff somewhere between Papa Roach and “Crazy Train.” Other musical touchpoints—the squeaky, nu-metal record scratches and hardcore breakdown on “Billy Knows Jamie,” the buoyant ska horns on “I Got My Tooth Removed,” the Skrillex-like drops and funky slap bass interlude on “One Million Dollars”—won’t score any “cool points” in the mainstream. But that’s the beauty of 100 gecs: they take the refuse of pop culture’s past and transform it into something deeply and necessarily joyful.

Necessary because 10,000 gecs is outlaw music. Not the romanticized version of the American cowboy, but the 2023 version where conservative legislation is trying desperately to tighten the grip on American identity and willing to make anyone unwilling to conform “The Most Wanted Person in the United States.” The version where decades (centuries?) of harmful messaging about what it is to be a flourishing human are internalized and make people question their self-worth and potential, as Les and Brady do on “Dumbest Girl Alive” or “Hollywood Baby.” But hate—externally or internally sourced—can’t win out. With their triumphant return, 100 gecs gets the last laugh as they dance with silly abandon in loud, joyful protest alongside an arena full of fellow outlaws. (www.100gecs.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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