Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Tropical Fuck Storm

  • A Laughing Death in Meatspace [Tropical Fuck Storm/Mistletone, 2018] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

A Laughing Death in Meatspace [Tropical Fuck Storm/Mistletone, 2018]
Crucially, this reboot of vocalist-lyricist-guitarist Gareth Liddiard's Perth-spawned, Melbourne-based, Canberra-averse Drones, who earned grunge-retro renown in their politically dysfunctional land without ever breaking Stateside, leans on three women: guitarist-keyboardist Erica Dunn, drummer Lauren Hammel, and former Drones bassist Fiona Kitschin, without whose shading and amplification the frontman's sociohistorical ravings might evoke a woke Nick Cave flexing his baritone. Although Socrates' hemlock meets Jesus' crucifixion and "The Future of History" details Gary Kasparov's 1997 defeat by a computer, the history part is seldom head-on. But whether the subject is family of assholes in legal trouble they deserve or plywood houses that should be armor-plated, Liddiard's songs are more sociopolitically situated than less verbose types generally manage, plus there's a Trump number where an Oompa Loompa brandishes drones and nukes. "The down side is that we're all about to get royally fucked / And the upside is we're all about to get screwed," he concludes. In most rock, this kind of dark joke comes off cheap if not stupid. Tropical Fuck Storm know how to scare you with them. A-